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How To Naturally Lower pH in Soil?


You can lower the pH of the soil by adding things like elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, and iron sulfate that you can buy, or you can use natural soil acidifiers like peat moss and compost.

Is your soil’s pH too high? Do you know that when the pH of the soil is high, it makes too much of some nutrients that are bad for plants?

The pH of dirt tells you how acidic or basic it is by measuring how many hydrogen ions are present. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being the middle number.

If the pH is less than 7, the soil is acidic. If it is above 7, the soil is alkaline. “Master soil variable” or “soil reaction” are other names for pH.

How To Naturally Lower pH in SoilHow To Naturally Lower pH in Soil

What Is pH?

PH is a scale used to measure how acidic or basic something is in the world. It stands for “potential of hydrogen” or “power of hydrogen.”

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being the normal pH.

A ph level above 7 means the conditions are basic, and a level below 7 means they are acidic.

Why is pH Important For Soil?

Your dirt should have a PH level between 5.5 and 7.5. To make sure their plants get the most nutrients from the soil, farmers should do everything they can to keep the soil in this PH range.

It is easier for plants and animals to get nutrients and minerals from acidic soil than from basic or neutral soil. So the dirt with a lower pH or an acidic pH would be best for your plants.

How Does pH Play A Role In Soil?

A soil’s pH is often forgotten in favor of its nutrients and texture, but it is very important for growing healthy plants.

The pH of the soil directly impacts the amount of nutrients and chemicals that breakdown in the water in the soil. This in turn impacts the amount of nutrients that plants can use to grow and stay healthy. To grow something, you need to make sure the pH level is right.

How To Test Your Soil’s pH

A small fee will be charged by your cooperative extension office to do a basic test on soil from your yard. The results show the pH level as well as the main and secondary nutrients and micronutrients that your sample may not have enough of.

You can also buy a test kit in stores, online, or at garden centers. For a simpler test, you can use things you already have in your house.

When To Lower Soil’s pH

If you want to make a new flower bed, you should test the soil as soon as possible. Soil bacteria react with sulfur to lower the pH, but the soil has to be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit for this to work.

After adding sulfur, you should wait about a month before planting. Adding sulfur in the fall or winter won’t work as planned.

Before you plant, it’s also easiest and most effective to change the way the dirt is made up. Even though this isn’t always possible, be sure to use the best tools and methods to keep the roots from getting hurt.

Common pH Levels In Soil

The pH level of most soils is between 3.5 and 10. A soil pH just below 7 is best for plants, but a pH that is a little acidic means that there is a good mix of water and nutrients from organic matter breaking down.

As the pH level changes, so do the plants that grow there. Here are a few examples:

  • Apple: 5.0 to 6.5
  • Azalea: 4.5 to 6.0
  • Greens: Broccoli: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Cauliflower: 5.5-7.5
  • Garlic: 5.5 to 8.0
  • Blooms: daffodils: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Lily-of-the-valley: 4.5 to 6.0

Factors Affecting Soil pH

The pH of dirt is affected by several things. The following are some of these factors:

  • Pollution
  • Irrigation water
  • Environment & Climate
  • Organisms
  • Geology
  • Topography
  • Types of soil
  • Time

How To Decrease Soil pH

Getting the soil’s pH down is a must for making the best conditions for plant growth. The pH of the soil directly affects the nutrients that are available. In alkaline (high pH) soil, many important nutrients are harder to get to.

Organically lowering the pH of the soil to a more neutral or slightly acidic range helps plants absorb important nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron more effectively. This leads to better root growth, stronger leaves, and higher crop yields. Lowering the pH of the soil helps certain types of plants grow better in slightly acidic conditions, which leads to a more productive yard or crop production.

Elemental Sulphur

To use elemental sulfur to lower the pH of soil, first check to see if the pH level is higher than 5.5. If it is higher than this level, add 1-3 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet to bring the pH of the soil down to 4.5. The goal is to lower the pH of the soil to about 4.5, which makes it more acidic and good for some plants.

Add the amount of elemental sulfur that the instructions say to and mix it well. As the sulfur combines with the soil’s water and microorganisms over time, it will lower the pH of the soil in an organic way. This will make it easier for plants that like acidic conditions to grow.

Make sure to check the pH level often to make sure it’s at the right level for your plants or yard. Check the soil’s pH again in a few weeks to see how the sulfur treatment changed it. Wait a little while, because the pH might not change right away.

Aluminium Sulphate

Usually, you’ll need 1-2 pounds of aluminum sulfate per 10 square feet of soil to drop the pH. Mix the right amount of aluminum sulfate into the dirt in a light but thorough way.

For best results, do these things once a month until the full amount of elemental sulfur that is suggested has been successfully incorporated into the soil. This slow process will help lower the pH, making the soil more acidic, which is good for plants that do well in that kind of setting.

Ferrous Sulphate

Before you use ferrous sulfate to lower the pH of dirt, you should check to see if the pH is already higher than 6.0. If so, choose ferrous sulfate or ground sulfur (flowers of sulfur). In general, you’ll need about two to three pounds per 100 square feet.

This sulfur should be mixed into the soil well so that the pH drops from 6.0 to 5.5. This lowers the acidity of the soil by half a point. This change makes the environment better for plants that do better in slightly acidic circumstances. Do another pH test of the dirt in a few weeks to see how well your treatment worked.

What Can Affect Soil pH?

Because dirt is made up of different types of rocks, its pH is different by nature. It is also changed by time, vegetation, dry or wet climates, and the land’s shape. As time goes on, nitrogen fertilizers with ammonium and ammonium sulfate in them lower the pH. A slow drop in pH can also happen with some organic fertilizers. Hard water has minerals and salts that raise the pH of the soil. A lot of wood ash also does this.

How To Lower Soil’s pH After Planting

Over time, the soil loses its acidity, which makes the pH level grow. Keep the best balance for plants is a constant process because of this. Ammonium nitrate works quickly, but it also runs out quickly, so it needs to be used again and again. When added to the dirt around plants, it needs to be worked in. 

Adding too much can hurt the roots and their ability to take in nutrients. Adding organic mulches and well-composted material every year is the best way to keep the pH level of your flowers, fruits, and veggies at a neutral level.

How Do I Know If My Soil pH is Off?

If you want to know if your soil pH is off, look at your plants. If they have slow growth or leaves that are dark green with red, brown, or purple spots on them, that’s a sign.

These signs usually mean that the plant isn’t getting enough nutrients, especially important ones like phosphorus and calcium carbonate that plants can’t get enough of when the soil is acidic.

Here is an exhaustive list of plants that prefer a lower soil pH level:

  • Cranberries and blueberries
  • Rosa azulea hydrangea rhododendron
  • Gardenias and camellias
  • Holly and Magnolias
  • Potatoes with sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Corn and wheat
  • Rye Oats Barley Rye
  • Beans and soy
  • Peanut butter
  • Citrus trees
  • Pine trees
  • Spruce tree blue
  • Douglas fir
  • Spruce and Hemlock
  • Holly bushes
  • Dogwood trees
  • Cherry trees
  • Apple trees
  • Pear trees
  • Plum trees
  • Grape plants
  • Strawberry plants
  • Peppers and tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Figs and cran
  • Boysenberries
  • Strawberry jam
  • Currants and blackberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Kiwi and pineapple
  • Coffee plants
  • Tea plants
  • Cocoa plants
  • Apples and bananas
  • Avocados, mangoes, and papayas

Please keep in mind that these plants do better in soil with a lower pH level, but they may still do well in soil with a slightly higher pH level if other factors are right. It is always best to find out what pH level each plant you want to grow needs.


Getting your yard soil to the right pH level is easy and can help your plants. You should be slow and steady when using organic matter, sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or other specialized fertilizers. Make small changes over time while keeping an eye on your plant’s health.

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