High PH - Knowledgebase Question

Port Tobacco, MD
Question by rickkram
February 20, 1998
For the last 2 years we have had our soil tested by the extension service and it keeps showing a high PH (over 7). To lower it I have been adding sulfur. Since almost everyone around here has the opposite problem and has to add lime, I was wondering what might be causing us to have such a high ph. We do add lots of organic material to improve the soil including rotted manure from our horses.


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Answer from NGA
February 20, 1998

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A soil pH of 7 is actually considered 'neutral', not high. But, the standard treatment is to add elemental sulfur to lower soil pH. You can try adding peat moss (can be expensive), to further lower the pH. Most veggies will perform well in soils with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5, so not a whole lot of adjustment is necessary in your case. Many factors affect soil pH and it's not unusual for your soil to be different from your neighbors. You're doing the right thing by amending the soil with organicmatter - it helps hold moisture, releases nutrients, and makes the garden area more hospitable to plant roots.

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