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Plants that raise pH level  RSS feed

 
kevin cyndrz
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I live in the pacific northwest with some pretty acidic soil. Since I have an over-abundance of magnesium and calcium, amending with limestone or oyster shells (both of with are composed largely of these elements) to raise my soil's pH is not an option.

Other than increasing the fertility of the soil (through things like mulching/cover cropping/green manure/animal manure), are there any other ways you can raise the pH of soil?

Do you know of any plants that have the ability to raise the pH of the soil?

Thanks.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Add Azomite rock dust, it has the other micro minerals, without the extra Ca, Mg, and Sodium.

Increasing the CEC will make the minerals in the soil more bio available even at 'lower' pH. You can increase the CEC with extra biomass in the soil
 
kevin cyndrz
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Thanks.

Ok so the alternative amendments I'm currently considering now are:

1. AZOMITE
Benefits: contains 70 minerals and trace elements
Disadvantages: Unsustainably mined from single source in Utah.

Source: Volcanic ash that was washed down mineral rich rivers and deposited in a seabed 30 million years ago.

CEC: ~27 meq/100 g

pH: 8

Chemical Makeup:
30.7806% Silicon
6% Aluminium
2.6230% Calcium, 0.4704% Magnesium
0.15% Nitrogen, 0.15% Phosphorous, 4.3417% Potassium
0.85% Soduim

2. BIOCHAR
Different biochar's may have very different characteristics depending on source material and the type of pyrolysis used

Benefits:
- contains microscopic vascular hollowed tubes that are potential havens for microbes, moisture, and vital nutrients.
- sequesters carbon for (potentially) thousands of years and can be produced in a manner that is carbon negative.
- creates a soil that can hold much greater amounts of greenhouse gases.
- can slow down soil degradation/erosion.
- excess gases from the production process can be stored and used to fuel other things.
- in general, no additional treatments are required.

Disadvantages:
- may be created in a unsustainable manner (but can also be created sustainably)
- may create greenhouse gases in the production process (but some of these gases may also be captured)
- unmatured or non-biologically activated "raw" biochar may take a longer time to work and will initially leach out vital nutrients if applied directly to the soil.

Source: Biomass that is burned in the absence of oxygen.

CEC:
- Raw biochar: ~10 meq/100 g
- Biologically inoculated, composted, and/or "matured" biochar: > 100 meq/100 g

pH: 8.5-9.5

Chemical makeup: Predominately carbon

Does anyone else have any suggestions on increasing soil pH? Is there a specific cover crop that works better than others?
 
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