How to acidify soil for acid loving plants.

oldmainer(z5 Maine)December 19, 2011

Hi Folks... I am going all organic starting in the spring...would like to know the best organic way to meet the needs of acid loving plants...shrubs...and trees....and certain things in the veggie garden. Franklin

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lazy_gardens

What is the acidity of your existing soil?

And how fussy are the things you are trying to grow?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 1:41PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

In some instances adequate levels of organic matter in the soil buffers somewhat so the soil pH is not as much of concern. If the soil pH does need to be lowered the most acceptable method for organic gardeners/farmers is to add sulfur to the soil. Most all vegetables I can think of do fine growing in soils with a pH in the 6.2 to 6.8 range, although those I grow do fine with a soil pH of 7.2 and aropunf 8 to 10 peercent organic matter.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 6:36AM
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Michael

Yes to the sulfur, if the plants aren't already established in the ground (veggies) incorporate the S as far ahead as possible, in your cold soils you not get a lot of pH shift until next Summer or later. If you can, get a soil sample for pH before the S is added and again in the Fall to see what has happened. Getting a recommendation from the lab for how much S needs to be added/100 or/1000 sq. ft. to drop the pH will be very useful to you and important.

BTW, if your S is surfaced applied it will take even longer to do it's thing as it has to work it's way down into the soil through cracks and with rainfall.

Keep in mind that when it comes to lowering the pH very much to be patient and that soil likes to return to it's own equilibrium, meaning in your case, it'll want to push the pH back up from the S addition(s) over time.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 1:34PM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi folks...I don't grow much out of the ordinary in the veggie line...and have found that just the regular application of compost and peat moss seems to meet their needs. I layer it on top of the garden along with leaves that I rake up...Ruth Stout style. I also water with an applicator that connects to the water line and I can put in liquid seaweed/fish fertilizer on a two week sceduale...give or take. I have a few blueberry plants that I have been using acid based Miracle Grow on. I will get a good soil test this spring and take it from there. Thanks for the info and help. Franklin

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 3:46PM
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