how do i fix the ph level of my soil

rosvan92May 28, 2012

I have clay soil in my yard and I had a soil test done on it by my local agriculture center. I am going to lists my readings and hope that someone can PLEASE tell me what to do to get the level right in order to grow blackberry plants. I've read that the level should be between 5.6 and 6.2. Is that correct? Here are the results of the tests-- pH-7.30,phosphorus-39.79, Potassum-544.15, Calcium-5528.30. Magnesium-906.92,Sodium- 111.32, Sulfur-6.63, Copper-3.63, Zinc-4.34. I am planting 3 plants 2 ft apart on a raised bed of about 5 to 6 inches. Any help would be greatly appreciated

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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

I think you would get a better answer in the "soil" forum but for starters add organic matter (mulch) and if you wanted Espoma makes an organic product to lower Ph using sulfur...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:57PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

We grow blackberries here at pH about like yours without issues. It won't hurt to add sulfur but your soil test doesn't tell you whether you can lower pH to any extent or how much sulfur to apply. You might not need to lower pH.

What you need to know, relative to lowering pH, is how much free carbonates there are in your soil. This takes a further soil test. At pH 7.3 your soil might not have any free carbonates or it could have quit a lot. If there are free carbonates lowering pH to 6 will be difficult at best.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Thank you all for the information. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:30AM
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The quick and dirty way to find out about free carbonates is to take a lump of soil, pulverize it (after drying probably, this being clay), and put it in a bowl. Pour vinegar to cover. If it bubbles, there are free carbonates and it is best to grow something other than blueberry. If it does not bubble, you can be reasonably confident that a bit of elemental sulphur (roughly 1/4 pound for a 10X4 area) will do the trick over time. In the intervening time, you could consider doing a foliar spray with iron.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:11PM
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I think blackberries would be fine without changing the soil. They might prefer it a little lower, but they're invasive in lots of the country, so I don't think they're too picky.

Glib, very interesting test for carbonates, it makes me want to go try that now.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:35PM
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