The Q&A Archives: Changing pH level

Question: The ph level in my garden is 7. I have steer manure, and mushroom compost/ dirt. I believe this is too high and I would like to get it down to about 6 to 6.5 for vegetables in New Mexico. Albuquerque area. (Mesa, its all dirt.) What can I add?

Answer: If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur may be used to lower the pH. Or, you can use sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold, mushroom compost or peat moss to lower the soil pH. I'd go ahead an incorporate the manure and mushroom compost you have on hand and test the soil again. If it still needs to be lowered, you can use sulfur. Here's how:

To lower soil pH of light sandy loams one full point, use 10 pounds of dusting sulfur per 1,000 square feet. In medium loam soil, add 15 pounds, and to heavy clay loam, 20 pounds. (Ordinarily dusting sulfur is perfectly satisfactory; no need to pay a premium for special grades.)

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