The Q&A Archives: Lowering ph

Question: I have blueberry bushes on one end of my garden and need to lower the ph but not sure what to add. It is presently 6.4 and needs to be 4.4-5.4?

Answer: Blueberries do need a low pH, yes. Lowering it is best done before planting, then maintained over time through regular testing and slight modification as needed. Although one to two points might seem like a small change, in fact it is a big change. You would not want to make a sudden change as this could shock existing plants. To lower the pH you would use acidic mulches such as pine needles and pine bark along with periodic applications of sulfur as indicated by test results. The sulfur will need time to work down into the soil and affect the pH, so this is a gradual process.(Aluminum sulfate will also lower pH but the aluminum can build up to toxic levels so it is not recommended.) I would suggest you work with your county extension to determine how much sulfur will be needed over time based on the type of soil you have and a routine testing program. Enjoy those blueberries!

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