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pH testing of coastal sandy soils

Posted by vernvan 8b SE Georgia (My Page) on
Thu, May 12, 05 at 18:36

I am trying to determine the pH of my soil to see if I need to ad lime for some of my plants, like peaches, figs and roses. I purchased a Rapitest pH Meter #1840.

I live in coastal Georgia about 500 feet from a tidal marsh. I tried testing my soil with the meter. I moved all debris from on top, drenched it with distilled water, inserted the probe, and it just barely moved up to maybe 7.25 pH. I have questions as to this being the pH, as my property has lots of mature azaleas and blue hydrangeas as well as mature 300 year old live oak trees and many southern yellow pine trees. None of these would do well in alkaline soil.

The soil is almost completely sand with a little organic material (no clay, silt or gravel). Coastal water table is maybe 6' deep. May be a lot of salts in the soil. How do I determine the actual pH? Or is this possibly the actual pH. I don't know much about the soils around here.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: pH testing of coastal sandy soils

Take a sample of your soil (4 to 6 inches down) to your local extension office for a pH reading. They may do it for free right in the office.

RE: pH testing of coastal sandy soils

Also, give your pH meter another try after you have lightly rubbed the probe with a very fine grain sandpaper or emory cloth. A 'coating' builds up on the probe and must be removed before the meter is used each time. Then you can compare your meter test results with the pH results given by your local extension office.

RE: pH testing of coastal sandy soils

My property is close to the intercoastal waterway and salt marshes and my pH is all over the scale. At one end of my very small yard the hydrangeas are gorgeous blue while fifty feet away the same variety is soft pink. Just below the surface in the "pink end" of my yard are thick deposits of small sea shells and sea shells make soil alkaline. My guess is that a saltwater creekbed or stream ran through that part of my yard at one time while the other end was an island.

Maybe your yard is similar?

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