Q & A

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#204763 Reply

E. Vinje
Keymaster

Hi Loyd –

The pH of your soil is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. Soil pH is extremely important and directly affects nutrient availability. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. Numbers less than 7 indicate acidity while numbers greater than 7 indicate alkalinity.

There are several methods to raise soil pH (make it more alkaline), and yes, adding potassium (K) is one of them. However, probably NOT the best as other problems can arise. To correct acid soil we recommend the following:

Lime: The standard soil amendment to raise pH is lime, which you can buy as granules or pellets, or as any of several powders. The finer the lime particles, the more rapidly it becomes effective. Different soils will require a different amount of lime to adjust the pH value. Here is the formula:

– for sandy soils, add 4 ounces per square yard;
– for loamy soils, add 8 ounces per square yard;
– for clay soils, add 12 ounces per square yard;
– for peaty soils, add 25 ounces per square yard.

Wood Ash: Not only will wood ashes raise the pH of the soil, but they also contain a number of necessary plant nutrients, including boron and other trace elements. The draw-back is their high potassium content, which dandelions crave — use caution when applying to lawns. Also, since ashes are so soluble, they can make soil quite alkaline when first applied. Foe this reason, it is best to spread them several weeks before planting or use as a side-dressing around existing plants.

Hope this helps!