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How to control soil pH levels

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PH is logarithmic scale the measures the acidity or the alkalinity of a substance – in this case, the soil. The scale ranges from 10 to 14 with 7 being the neutral. So, anything above 7 depicts acidity and anything below it represents alkalinity. Maintaining the correct pH level of the soil is very important for its growth and health. If the pH level of the soil is not suitable for the plant, then the plant stops getting required nutrients from the soil thereby leading to its deterioration, no matter how much it is being fed. This condition is due to the fact that the acidity or alkalinity of the soil determines which all nutrients will be contained by the soil. All of the above facts make it really important for gardener to take care of the soil’s pH level and maintain a proper record of the soil test for further changes or references.

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Having known the importance the soil pH levels it comes down to fact that how to regulate its acidity. Well this can be achieved by adding limestone or sulfur to increase or decrease the acidity of the soil respectively. Remember the change wouldn’t be instant. Your soil would take few months to adjust to the change so just be patient. Before starting off with getting your soil’s acidity changed, measure your garden and follow the chart below to know the amount of limestone or sulfur required to add per 1000 square feet:

Pounds of Limestone required:

  • pH 4.0 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 60 pounds, Loam Soil = 161 pounds, Clay Soil = 230 pounds
  • pH 4.5 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 50 pounds, Loam Soil = 130 pounds, Clay Soil = 190 pounds
  • pH 5.0 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 40 pounds, Loam Soil = 100 pounds, Clay Soil = 150 pounds
  • pH 5.5 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 30 pounds, Loam Soil = 80 pounds, Clay Soil = 100 pounds
  • pH 6.0 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 15 pounds, Loam Soil = 40 pounds, Clay Soil = 60 pounds

Pounds of Sulfur required:

  • pH 8.5 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 45 pounds, Loam Soil = 60 pounds, Clay Soil = 70 pounds
  • pH 8.0 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 30 pounds, Loam Soil = 35 pounds, Clay Soil = 45 pounds
  • pH 7.5 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 10 pounds, Loam Soil = 20 pounds, Clay Soil = 25 pounds
  • pH 7.0 to 6.5  – Sandy soil = 2 pounds, Loam Soil = 4 pounds, Clay Soil = 7 pounds

Now that you know the amount of limestone or sulfur required by your soil, you could spread the same on your garden using a drop spreader machine that you can hire at an affordable cost. Make sure above mentioned minerals work well only if tiled at a depth of 4 to 6 inches into the soil. After you have spread the mineral, ensure to work the well. It makes it adapt to the changes at a faster rate.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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