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Soil too alkaline - HELP

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gardenbug8 blog photos
Joined: 2/14/2008
Location: Williams, CA
Posts: 35
Posted: Mar/17/2008 2:08 PM PST

What do you do to lower the alkalinity of your soil? My planters' alkalinity I think is too high, in the 9s and 10s while my plants requre a 6.5 to 7 alkaline. Any recommendation? Even my grapes which requires a more acidic soil is high in alkaline.
RKayne blog photos
Joined: 11/09/2006
Location:
Posts: 4090
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Posted: Mar/17/2008 2:45 PM PST

Coffee...(I run the grounds through with more water and water the soil, or you can work coffee grounds in). Sulfer....pine needles....
bugnut blog photos
Joined: 9/06/2007
Location: Kellyville, Okla
Posts: 2176
Posted: Mar/17/2008 2:45 PM PST

Gardenbug, I just looked this up, I hope the link works. http://www.bachmans.com/tipsheets/soils/Acidifying Soil.cfm
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4992
Moderator
Posted: Mar/17/2008 4:39 PM PST

Quote:
Originally posted by RKayne
Coffee...(I run the grounds through with more water and water the soil, or you can work coffee grounds in). Sulfer....pine needles....


Tea leaves/grounds work good too if your a tea drinker.
txrose blog photos
Joined: 3/04/2007
Location: Van, Tx
Posts: 2650
Posted: Mar/18/2008 7:05 AM PST

"garden sulfer: lowers the pH of soil making neutral and alkaline soils better for acid-loving plants. Add according to package directions only if you are certain of your soil's pH." gardening 1-2-3

"Adding lime(lime would raise pH) or sulfur to alter soil pH is not a quick fix. It can take months to register a change in the pH and you will need to periodically retest your soil to insure it doesn't revert to its old pH." referenced from site:http://en.mimi.hu/gardening/sulfur.html


**I am trying to create a great soil base to in my gardens so I am learning this but there is a lot to read about ammending your soil.

Curious about coffee grounds see: http://www.helium.com/items/533563-coffee-drinkers -empty-grounds

http://www.ehow.com/how_2128557_use-coffee-grounds -garden.html
msstuff00
Joined: 3/20/2008
Location: greenbrier, ar
Posts: 1
Posted: Mar/20/2008 6:07 PM PST

Would a yard with 8 cedar trees have alot of acid in it? Where can I go to find out which flowers like acidic soil so I can put a few flower beds around the cedar trees.\
Thanks
SpringChicken photos
Joined: 3/06/2008
Location: Northeast, Alabama
Posts: 1004
Posted: Mar/20/2008 7:55 PM PST

I know that Azaleas absolutely LOVE acidic soil. They don't last for long when they are abloomin' but they sure are purty when they do!
txrose blog photos
Joined: 3/04/2007
Location: Van, Tx
Posts: 2650
Posted: Mar/20/2008 8:48 PM PST

Quote:
Originally posted by msstuff00
Would a yard with 8 cedar trees have alot of acid in it? Where can I go to find out which flowers like acidic soil so I can put a few flower beds around the cedar trees.\
Thanks


azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries , hydrangeas, roses like acidic soil too only they will need lots of sun.

Found somewhere on the net these will grow under cedar trees.
Mahonia nervosa (Low Oregon Grape)
Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern)
Epimedium
Vancouveria (Inside-out Flower)
Lonicera (Honeysuckle Species)
Vaccinium parvifolium (Red Huckleberry)
Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry)
Sambucus (Elderberry)
Gaultheria Shallon (Salal) - be careful, this can crowd out other plants.
TinaMcG blog photos
Joined: 3/01/2008
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 28
Posted: Mar/26/2008 12:26 PM PST

Of all the challenges I've had as a gardener, lowering the pH of my soil has been the biggest. Remember, every tenth of a number up or down (e.g. 7.0 to 7.1) represents ten times more acidity. Every who number jump represetnst 100x more acidity. So you can see that it takes some work and a lot of time to move the pH up or down. Most gardeners try to move it down.

Coffee grounds improve soil tilth, and many believe they repel slugs. They may lower pH slightly, but not much, and you have to keep adding them because their effect isn't permanent. Crushed pine needles are good, but they break down slowly, so don't expect to see a change within a season. Sulphur is the quickest way to lower pH, but even that takes a couple months to begin seeing results. The question is, which form of sulphur is best? Some people say aluminum sulfate is good; others swear ammonium sulfate is better.

I suggest you contact your local county extension office and ask for a recommendation, and while you're at it, ask them the procedure for doing a soil test for you. Don't guess at the pH. Get a soil test done to make sure you know what your soil needs.

As for the soil in containers, I would replace it. Bagged garden soil is probably 6.5 - 7.0, which is perfect for container plants. I think trying to drop pH from 9 to 7 is more trouble than it's worth. I had a soils teacher who said it wasn't even possible to lower the pH more than one full number. That may or may not be true, but it sure is difficult.
GuiltTrip blog photos
Joined: 6/18/2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 755
Posted: Aug/22/2008 7:08 AM PST

I use old drywall scraps chopped up and old buckets of drywall mud watered down , put around and pour around plants water in . This Helps
Later Guilt Trip
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