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Adjusting PH  RSS feed

 
                                    
Posts: 12
Location: Alberta Canada
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Surfing through the topics and not finding a thread that deals with soil ph so I started one.

What is your favourite way of adjusting the soil's PH.   

Acidic
Lime: sometimes called quick lime, don't get it in your eyes.

Dry wall, gypsum board: crush to a powder and remove the big chunks of paper.  Can be found in new subdivisions, ASK!! if can take some.

Base, Basic
Wood ashes

Lye, caustic don't get it in your eyes

John

Life is to short to make all of the mistakes yourself, so you ask others to help. 
 
                              
Posts: 15
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Hmm...

I'm a little unclear about your headings - e.g. does "Acidic" mean Lime makes it more acidic or is used to 'treat' acidic soil ?

The reason I ask though is that I'm confused about your suggestions.

I'm pretty sure BOTH Lime and wood ash will make soil more basic. I searched around on this since we had a bunch of wood ash and some blueberries to plant and I was all ready to amend the soil for them with the ash. A bunch of net-searching seemed to make it clear to me that wood ashes are extremely basic (pH something like 12.0-13.0) and a very bad idea for my blueberries.

If you or anyone else threading-in can re-correct me on this I still have those ashes around.

D.

some sample references:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_effects_of_adding_lime_to_soil

http://www.answers.com/topic/wood-ash
 
John Polk
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Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Dander, you are correct.  Do NOT add ash to your blueberry plantings.  Wood ash will raise pH (make the soil LESS acidic), which is not what you want to do.  Blueberries need acidic soil.  Most treatments for altering pH are short lived.  It took nature millions of years to 'set' the pH where it is, and whatever you add will quickly be consumed, or leached away.  If you have access to large quantities of oak leaves, they are one of the best natural ways to acidify your soil.  Mix chopped oak leaves into your soil, and continue to mulch with fresh whole oak leaves to maintain their acidic influence.
 
                                    
Posts: 12
Location: Alberta Canada
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John

You are correct I should have worded the question differently. 

I appreciate you pointing out the confusion.

After posting the question I found a similar conversation some where on the site, can't find it now.

The references you provided helped answer another question I had.

Thanks

John

“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, I said I don’t know.”  – Mark Twain
 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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Remember in broad-acre Permaculture it is the plants that created the acidic soil in response to nutrient depletion from synthetic/NPK fertilizers. Plants exude acids from their roots to mine the nutrients from rocks in the soil. Once you stop focusing on the plants and fertilizers and shift to focusing on the soil and restoring all the soil life and cycles the soil magically swings pH closer to neutral with the plants lowering acid output from the roots.

Everything else is a temporary measure which is great for the companies selling you the product as you get onto a bit of a treadmill. Teaching you the truth of how soil pH works doesn't sell products unfortunately so the word does not get out.

Small pH shifting is fine in the garden, or taking advantage of existing acidifiers such as pine needle mulch or planting near concrete for alkaline influence on the immediate soil.

Cheers,
PeterD
 
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