Do you know if your soil is acidic or alkaline?
Depending on what part of the Country you are from, your soil can be either acidic or alkaline. There are a number of factors that contribute to the pH levels in the soil, they include the type of rock that has eroded down to make the soil as well as the quality of the water and quantity and type of compost in the soil.
As a refresher, the soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Most soils normally range between 3 and 10, with 7 being neutral. Acidic soils have a pH below 7 and alkaline soils have a pH above 7.
How does the soil’s pH affect plant growth?
Soil pH is important because it affects the availability of plant nutrients. Which nutrients are affected is the result of the soil’s pH and can get complicated. Whether your soil is acidic or alkaline certain key nutrients can be tied up and unavailable to your lawn or garden.
Soil’s that are alkaline can also have an additional problem of dispersion which leads to a dense, compact soil. Heavy clay is notorious for dispersion and leads to poor aeration, water drainage, and root growth.
Here in Utah, a bigger problem than the alkalinity is the amount of salinity and soil salts that have been collected and stored in the clay soil. Salts disperse the clay and hinder good biological health as well as drying out the plants causing stress.
A neutral soil will provide the best growing environment for nearly all plants.
It is a common practice to add amendments to try and buffer or change the pH of the soil.
Limestone is a common amendment for acidic soils to help raise the pH. How effective lime is can depend on a few factors some of those include the amount of clay soil particles and the quantity of organic matter in the soil.
The pH of an alkaline soil can be reduced by adding an acidifying amendment or acidic organic matter. Sulfur is common because it oxidizes into sulfuric acid.
Either limestone or sulfur can benefit your soil depending on the pH levels and what you are trying to achieve, but these are not the only amendments that can help to neutralize your soil pH.
Whether your soil is acidic or alkaline it is out of balance and not providing the ideal nutrients to your lawn or garden. By focusing on the health of the soil we can start to correct this imbalance.
Biologically Healthy soil will naturally reach a Neutral pH.
At SoundSoil we focus on the biological health of the soil. Healthy soils grow healthy lawns and gardens.
Biological concentrates like RestoreClay or LawnMutt are formulated to correct unhealthy soil conditions. The pH of the soil is one of there conditions.
Healthy soil conditions will help to buffer and neutralize both acidic and alkaline soils.
RestoreClay is also uniquely formulated to help remove excess soil salts and salinity in alkaline soils.
Whether you are wanting to restore your heavy clay soil or prevent dog urine damage all our products will help to neutralize your soil's pH.