PH problems

kenwagzMay 16, 2014

I have a ph over 8 and am trying to get to 6 - 6.5 besides the long range fix, I am trying to bring it down pretty fast.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Here's a good article from Organic Gardening, but I don't think it's a 'fast' solution.

Here's another one:


Here is a link that might be useful: OG-How to Lower Ph in Soil

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a ph over 8 and am trying to get to 6 - 6.5

Why? What do you want to grow that requires that low a pH?

You are fighting mother Nature, and except for some small confined planting areas, it's futile. Work on improving the amount of organic material, add soil sulfur and relax.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

gee, really... relax, I just wanted to know how to lower it fast. If you want to answer like that. shame, shame.
I think what I am growing is of no import here, just was asking for assistance with this.
It is very hard to garden when one is blind, so if you will not help, don't spam my box with rudeness

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did help ... I told you to add organic matter and soil sulfur.

And I asked for more information - what are you trying to grow that has you thinking you need a pH that low? There may be a way to make it work if it's a picky plant, or a substitute with similar characteristics.

There is so much alkaline matter in the usual AZ desert soil that you can pour pool acid in the planting holes and hear it fizz as it dissolves the caliche. But the lower pH doesn't last very long because there is far more alkali than you can afford acid for.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 3:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

wow, you come here asking for help, people offer their suggestions, and you come back swinging. Unbelievable! I think you're the one being rude here.

If you wanted a quick way of doing it and a quick answer, a simple google search by yourself would've done the job.

Like Lazygarden have said, doing it the "quick" way won't net you long lasting results, plus will be dangerous to your plants. Adding organic materials is your best bet, or just totally replacing all of your soil with bagged soil and compost. Then there's our water here that's also a problem, Your soil will become alkaline again over time unless you water with heavily filtered RO water.

Plus we're asking what you're trying to grow because most plants, even though if the plant prefers more acidic conditions, can and will adapt to our high ph soils.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Ah c'mon - s/he was asking "how to bring down the ph". Why not just answer the question and not grill the person about their gardening habits? The poster did not ask you "I'm trying to grow X and I've got high Ph, will that work?" He very simply wanted to know if there was a quick way to lower the ph. Just answer the question as it's presented. Or opt out. Why start a debate about it?? hmmm?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Except that there is NO way to lower the pH in highly chalky soils, quick or otherwise. You could add straight sulfuric acid to bring the pH down to 0, and in a few weeks, the pH will be right back at 8.3 (just giving an extreme but totally realistic scenario).

Best bet is to use containers, or even raised beds physically isolated from the surrounding soil.

This post was edited by Slimy_Okra on Sat, May 17, 14 at 22:45

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

as Slimy says. A rough test is to dry and pulverize a lump of soil, then cover with distilled vinegar. If it bubbles, you have no chance of changing it long term. This said, there is Dave "dig dirt" in Vegetable gardening who grows just about everything vegetable in 8.3 soil. I myself grow just about everything in 7.6 soil. both of us use compost, compost, compost.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iandyaz(Zone 9B - QC)

Sulfuric acid mixed in when you water brings it down fast, but I don't recommend it because it's very dangerous. One small splash of concentrated stuff in your eyes, and you lose your sight.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you so much for the help, really all I wanted to know was how to lower it quickly...

As for understanding what I ask, thank you Mary.

My soil is inside, not outside as you assumed.
And iAndy, what is with the sick comment, If you read my post you will read I am already blind, that is why I just don't "Google" it as the other person stated. I use Jaws software on my PC to get around and it is crazy on a page like Google.

I hope you can forgive me if I was rude for not understanding why people could not understand my writing, it gets frustrating t times.
I really could use a site like this, assuming I learn how to ask questions proper
and you all let me in to your "community"

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 3:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iandyaz(Zone 9B - QC)

I apologize. I didn't read your second message very well and meant no offense. I use sulfuric acid in a diluted mixture to water a few plants that love acidic soil and it actually works where vinegar didn't work for me, but I don't want to encourage using a dangerous chemical like that when the consequences of a mistake with it are pretty bad. I think the safer route is to take the time and use elemental sulfur (sometimes called flowers of sulfur).

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My soil is inside, not outside as you assumed.

That was necessary information, and it changes the recommendation. Manipulating pH in a small amount of soil is easier to do.

The high soil pH is because you are watering from the tap with hard water that has lots of calcium and other minerals. It stays when the water evaporates.

First: Most of the build-up will be in the top inch or two of the pot, as a crusty layer. Remove this and replace it with fresh potting soil.

Next: Leaching the rest of the pot. You can wash out much of the calcium build-up by dunking the pot in a bucket of water and draining it. Lower it in and leave it until the bubbles stop coming up. Lift it out and let it drain. Repeat this a couple of times.

Preventing the build-up is fairly easy with regular leaching.

If you have a reverse osmosis unit, leach the plants with that instead of regular tap water. It's lower in calcium.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 9:32AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Which plants they are?
Anyone can help me identify these 3 plants? I have...
The Big Tease (white sapote flowers)
Hi everyone, long term members of this forum know I...
Desert Botanical Garden Spring Sale
FYI, their Bi-Annual Plant Sale is this weekend... Link...
asudevil311 - zone 9b
NOT in love with my sapote tree
Hi everyone, I'm so NOT in love with my grafted sapote...
Boojum tree
Hello! I was at the botanical gardens the other day...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™