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soil PH  RSS feed

 
                      
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I am trying to reduce my soil PH from7.6 to 6.5 on my lawn.  I have a 50 lb. bag of sulfur.  The label on the bag lists several spreader settings.  All of the spreaders Andersons Accu Pro /SR2000, Andersons SS2, and Scott's rotaries R8 and R8A are professional spreaders for golf courses.  Is it possible to use a regular spreader and calculate the proper setting for 2.2 lbs. / 1000 Sq. Ft.  Thanks I appreciate any help I can get.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 21972
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I cannot help you with the spreader, but I would like to ask you a few things:

1)  Are you in a really dry area?

2)  Do you have any conifer trees in your area?  I wonder if you can get some conifer duff and spread that around on your soil instead. 

3)  Why go for 6.5?  I would think that getting to 7.0 would probably be good enough.

4)  Did you do a full soil test?  Was your soil low in sulfur?

 
                      
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Thanks for responding to my questions.  I live in NW Iowa and we usually have adequate rainfall in the spring and fall with hot humid summers.  Most of the conifers around here are one or two in people's yards.  The 6.5 pH came from the bag of sulfur.  The label mentioned 5.6 to 6.5 for golf course greens, tees, and fairways.  I would be happy to achieve a 7.0 pH for my yard.  I did a soil test according to the instructions from the Iowa State Soil Testing Laboratory.  The extension office provided a plugging tool to take the samples in approximately twelve different areas in my yard.  The results of the soil test are as follows.  ppm P 36, ppm K 264, pH 7.6.  I am trying to move the PH to a more grass friendly number.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 21972
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Do you know how many inches of annual rainfall you get there?

Does your sulfur look like split peas?

An extension office can be a great help!  Although it has been my experience that some are better than others. 

Someday, if might be useful to collect soil again and then send a sample to a lab that will do a more complete test - including testing for sulfur. 

So there is no park nearby loaded with conifers?  And nothing on your lawn?

Sulfur, of course, lowers pH.  So I'm not surprised that the package recommends lowering pH more than you need (buy more of their product!).  7.0 will be fine. 


 
                      
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The rainfall here is 34.2" annually.  Most our rain fall from April to September.  The bag of sulfur I have consists of granular sulfur which is irregular shapes approximately 1/16" in diameter.  I do have Three large concolors in my front yard and one in the back yard.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 21972
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Interesting. 

That level of rainfall is about the same as Seattle. 

Areas that get that level of rainfall typically have acidic soil.

If you can get to the pine duff under your conifer trees, that stuff, when spread out on your lawn, will also lower your pH.  But, it has some other upsides and some other downsides.  As long as you have the sulfur, I would use that first.
 
                                    
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Location: California
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A couple of years ago I decided to plant some citrus and avocado trees in my backyard so I ideally wanted to get my soil down to 6.5 pH (from 7.6).  I ended up just sulfuring the holes I planted the  trees in after calculating I would need  over 800 lbs of Sulfur for a 1/2 acre area (adobe clay soil).  I did however add approx 1400 lbs of gypsum in an attempt to turn my clay into something resembling soil.
 
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