The Q&A Archives: Alkaline Soil

Question: My soil has large amounts of alkaline. I don't know the pH. What can I plant? Should I amend the soil in any way?

Answer: Alkaline soil can be improved by the addition of sulfur or peat moss. The exact amount would depend upon a pH test. You can add organic matter to any kind of soil to improve its texture, and water and nutrient-holding capacity. Just spread 4-6 inches of leaf-mold, compost, or peat moss over the top of the bed and dig it into the soil before you plant. If your soil is very alkaline, stay away from acid-loving plants like blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons. Most plants do best in a soil with a pH rangeof 6.0 to 7.5. Plan to have your soil tested soon so you'll know what steps to take to improve the pH.

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