How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline? Know the Easy Ways!
Growing plants in soil having undesirable pH is a bit of a headache. It is no secret that you have to take care of the pH range to get a higher yield. Failure to do so will drown your investments in growing plants in the drain. Generally, the acidic soil problem emerges frequently as the fertilizers and other applications cause the soil to turn acidic when nutrients are released. So, it becomes crucial for everyone to know How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline!
- As a Bonus, there is an FAQs section that addresses the most asked questions related to the Acidic Soil conversion.
Why Is Acidic Soil a Problem?
When the pH drops from the required levels, all macro, micro, and trace nutrients get “out of reach.” Moreover, as the pH goes down, the aluminum increases in the soil, limiting the phosphorus uptake by affecting phosphorous solubility. This domination of aluminum is a cause of concern for growers as it is toxic for plants.
Similarly, when the pH goes up, calcium plays the role of aluminum here. It ties up phosphorus, and plants cannot uptake it.
In addition to this, the activities of beneficial microbes are also affected by the increase in soil acidity. Soil microbes need pH close to neutral to break down the organic matter in the soil that releases nutrients. So, effective measures should be taken to increase the pH (towards alkalinity) if the soil is acidic.
How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline?
To come out of low pH misery, People ask how to reduce soil acidity effectively but get no satisfying answer. This is where I come to help you find the solutions. Below are the few easiest and proven ways to make acidic soil alkaline:
- Application of Lime
- Application of Wood Ash
- Application of Baking Soda
How to make Acidic soil Alkaline with Lime?
There are different types of Limes used to reduce soil acidity. Let’s have a look at the famous ones:
Garden Lime (Calcium Carbonate)
You can add garden lime to increase the pH (alkalinity) of the soil. But that’s not it! In addition to this, lime also adds calcium to the soil.
As calcium deficiency cause disease like blossom rot in tomatoes, adding lime can be a real blessing. Moreover, fruiting trees are also highly sensitive to calcium deficiency. So, adding the lime becomes a real deal if you are growing such trees.
Dolomite lime (Calcium Magnesium Carbonate) is common lime growers add to increase alkalinity. Calcium carbonate (garden lime) only adds calcium to the soil, while dolomite lime adds calcium and also magnesium. However, there is one big disadvantage in adding dolomite which is dolomite is less reactive than garden lime. So, only use dolomite lime if your soil is deficient in magnesium which is also an essential nutrient.
To know about soil conditions, you can do the soil test. A soil test will tell you the pH of your soil and which nutrients it lacks.
Those who ask How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline should know about Hydrated Lime. Hydrated lime (Calcium hydroxide) is a Quick pH increasing substance as it reacts quicker than garden lime. However, growers generally over-add it which causes problems. But the biggest demerit of this lime is that it is expensive than the rest of the limes.
- Out of these three, experts recommend using garden lime the most!
How much garden lime you should add?
Keep one thing in mind that increasing one point of pH will make the soil ten times more alkaline than it previously was. Similarly, if you increase the pH by two points, alkalinity will increase 100X.
The application Rate of the garden lime depends upon two factors:
- How much acidic the soil is
- Soil type (Clay soils require more lime than sandy soils)
After doing a soil test, you will really know how much lime you can add per square meter:
But the lime effectiveness depends upon how you apply it. You have to add the lime a little deeper into the soil. For this, you can dig a hole or rake the soil with the help of a tiller.
Moreover, after adding the lime, you have to apply water for the lime to work. The soil-moisture connection is the most critical factor in this whole pH increasing method. If the soil remains dry, then adding lime even a few inches deeper in the soil will do no good.
But there is a thing you should know about right now. Even if you do everything right with the lime application, the pH change will still take at least one season. It is a time-consuming process, so it is better to apply it in the fall and wait till the next year to sow any seed on such soil.
Also, if you grow shrubs or fruiting trees, you should apply lime every 5 years to maintain the pH. People ask how to make soil alkaline for hydrangeas for better flowering, and the answer is simple- apply Garden Lime. Similarly, people also ask how to make soil alkaline for lavender, and the answer is again the same- apply Garden Lime!
How to make Acidic soil Alkaline with Wood Ash?
Wood ash is another soil amendment you can add to increase the alkalinity of the soil. Wood ash consists of:
- Calcium 20%
- Potassium 3%
- Magnesium 2%
- Phosphorus 1%
It does not contain nitrogen and many other micronutrients. The N:P:K ratio of wood ash is 0:1:3.
How to apply Wood Ash?
The best time to add wood ash is in spring. You make a thin layer of wood ash on top of the soil and mix it in the soil with the help of a tiller.
You should not add wood ash in large amounts as it may cause many complications. It can raise pH to an undesirable level which will make nutrients unavailable. Furthermore, if the wood ash comes in contact with a germinating seedling, it can harm them too.
How to make soil more Alkaline with Baking Soda?
Want to know how to make the soil more alkaline with baking soda effectively? Then this part is for you! It is true that you can also add baking soda to make the acidic soil alkaline. It is quicker than wood ash, but its effect lasts shorter than other soil amendments. However, it does not cause any damage to plant roots, so indoor gardeners generally like this amendment.
How to Apply Baking Soda?
People ask how to lower pH in soil naturally, and the answer is to apply baking soda the right way. The application of Baking Soda is also super easy and convenient. All you have to do is mix one tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water and stir it thoroughly before applying it to the soil. Make sure you don’t over-apply it as this may cause an imbalance in soil composition.
If by mistake you end up increasing the pH, then you have to take some measures to bring it down. Want to know how to make soil pH acidic quickly? Don’t worry, I am describing them too!
How to Turn Alkaline Soil to Acidic?
After over adding the above-described amendments, people start searching how to get alkaline soil more acidic. Well, the answer is you can add Vinegar, mulch, and elemental sulfur to decrease the alkalinity.
Those who care about the environment and plant health search how to make alkaline soil more acidic naturally, then the appropriate answer is Vinegar.
But how to lower pH in soil with Vinegar application? Add one cup of vinegar to a gallon of water and then apply it to the soil to reduce the pH by half a point.
All-inclusive, a pH lower than the requirement is damaging to the plants. It can lead to nutrient unavailability and a halt in soil microbes activities, leading to weaker plants with ugly appearances. Feeling the intensity of the matter, growers search How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline. We answered this question with the proven methods which progressive farmers and experts are using. You can add garden lime, wood ash, and baking soda to increase the soil pH and make it more alkaline.
However, all of their effectiveness depends upon how you add them. Apply these soil amendments in the way we have described above and witness results beyond Expectations!
FAQs about How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline
How can I make my soil more alkaline?
People ask, How to Make Acidic Soil Alkaline, and the answers are pretty straightforward. You can make the soil more alkaline by adding garden lime, baking soda, and wood ash to the soil. Make sure you add lime and wood ash a few inches deeper into the soil. When it comes to baking soda, you should mix it up with the water before applying it to the soil.
How do you neutralize acidic soil?
People ask, How to make the soil more basic, and there are three answers to this question. You can neutralize the soil acidity by adding wood ash, baking soda, and different kinds of lime (garden lime is the most famous one and is preferable too).
What alkaline neutralizes acidic soil?
Calcium Hydroxide (hydrated lime) and garden lime neutralize the soil acidity effectively.
How can I make my soil alkaline without lime?
You can make the soil alkaline without adding any kind of limes. How? Well, you can add wood ash and baking soda to increase the pH of the soil. We recommend baking soda to those who want to know how to make the soil more alkaline quickly.