The Q&A Archives: Adjusting Soil Ph Level

Question: My soil ph ranges from 7.3 to 7.8, too high for most of the acid loving plants in my garden. My soil is on the clay side. Can you tell me the formula for how much aluminum sulfate I need to apply and the manner in which it needs to be applied.

Also, can you tell me the preferred soil ph of centiped grass. Thank you.

Answer: Elemental sulfur is best. The effect is delayed because soil-dwelling bacteria need time to break down the added sulfur and lower the pH. The bacteria oxidize the sulfur; it then combines with water to form sulfuric acid, which acidifies the soil. Because this process relies upon active soil bacteria, sulfur is best applied in spring or summer, when the bacteria are most active. Rates of application will vary, depending upon the type of soil you have. Follow package directions for the amount to apply for your area.

Centipede grass prefers slightly acid to neutral soil (6.0 - 7.0).

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