Q & A

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E. Vinje

Rodney –

Naturally-occurring elements push soil toward either end of the scale. Forested areas with plenty of rainfall like the East Coast and the Pacific Northwest tend to have acidic readings (4.0- 6.0), while the low-moisture Mountain West trends alkaline (above 7.5). The Midwest is generally neutral, with readings between 6.0 to 7.5.

Most plants have adapted to a wide pH range, and some even prefer environments that lean one direction. Blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons are acid-loving, and clematis, lilac and peony prefer to be on the alkaline side.

When your garden is in that neutral sweet spot (7.0), essential elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron and manganese dissolve easily, which lets the roots deliver them quickly and easily to your plants.

To lower your soil pH from 8.0 to 7.0 we recommend adding elemental sulfur, sometimes called split- pea sulfur at a rate of 10 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. You can also add plenty of compost — especially if you have poor soil conditions — to help neutralize pH.


Hope this helps!