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soil pH

QUESTION: What is the best way to lower pH? Mine is neutral at 7.5. I want to plant vegetables, raspberries, blackberries,asparagus, blueberries and apples. My zone is 8 so any information you can give me I would appreciate. Thank you.

ANSWER: Tricky.  Add lots of gypsum and soil sulfur, but don't plan to plant anything for at least two months.  We have discovered that the sulfur breaks down slowly, and after you let it set, watering it well the whole time, till it with any other needed nutrients and the soil will be ready for testing to see if you have a pH around 4.5 for the berries.

Asparagus grown fine in alkaline soil, and so do apples.

For more information about soil building please visit our web site:

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QUESTION: How much of each do I add per bush? Does the gypsum add calcium? My soil test says I have an excessive amount of calcium and phosphorus.

ANSWER: Yes, gypsum adds calcium to the soil.




Sawdust, elemental sulfur, composted leaves, compost, humates, wood chips, organic cottonseed meal, leaf mold, and especially peat moss, will lower the soil pH.  I would work a mixture of these into the top inch of the soil around the base of an established plant.

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QUESTION: I haven't planted the bushes yet. I've ordered them a few weeks ago. I always add compost, peat moss, Epsom salts, and used to add wood ashes(because my soil is low in potassium). On your web site you mentioned a product called sul po mag.Would that work and would it be easy to find? What green manure crop would you recomend for sandy soil with rootknot nemetodes for winter and summer planting?I hope I'm not asking too many questions. Thank you for your time.

Yes, as long is it is not added to an established plant, and you wait for two months.  You are basically adding sulfuric acid to your soil, and it will kill plants.

Never use wood ashes, they are alkaline!!!!  Use seaweed, fish meal,  kelp meal, and/or greensand.

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/hort/news/hortmatt/2006/26hrt06a3.htm   information on root knot nematodes

You might consider beneficial nematodes:  http://www.planetnatural.com/site/beneficial-nematodes.html  

Just because local availability is convenient, it is sometimes necessary to order by mail.... it is worth it.  

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