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How do you Lower the Soil pH fast?

How do you Lower the Soil pH fast? Soil rich in organic matter is ideal for growing any type of plant. Because of the microbial activity, the soil tends to be acidic. But the microbial action is a slow process. Hence, if you want to lower the soil pH fast for other acid-loving plants, we need to adopt alternative measures.

Soil acidity to lower the soil pH
Soil acidity/lower pH values

How to Acidify the Soil or lower the soil pH?

Flowers of Sulphur

Sulpur is widely used to lower the soil pH
Sulfur to lower the soil pH fast

Sulphur is available in powder and pellet forms. The finer the particles the more quickly it acts to reduce the soil pH. Pelletized sulfur acts fast and is easy to spread uniformly. Sulphur requires bacterial action to lower pH. During cold weather, the microorganism level is low in the soil. Hence Sulphur works slowly during cold weather. Till the granular sulfur deeply into the soil. Water the soil to make it moist. Sulphur is immediately converted to sulphuric acid by bacterial action and acidifies the soil. Flow-able forms of sulfur are also available. They act faster than dry forms.

Aluminium Sulphate to lower the soil pH

This highly water soluble material immediately dissolves and acts to reduce the soil pH. It can rapidly reduce soil pH. So use it cautiously. Add about 2-3 tbsp of Aluminium Sulphate to a gallon of water and use it in the soil. Excess aluminum in the soil can increase toxicity. It can interfere with the availability of other nutrients to plants. So, it is an ideal soil amendment before planting on a very alkaline soil.

Iron Sulphate

Like aluminum sulfate, ferrous sulfate also lowers soil pH of alkaline soil rapidly. Iron sulfate is sold in liquid and dry form. Liquid solutions act faster than granular products. The product should be carefully handled to avoid skin irritation.

Vinegar and Citric acid

Vinegar to lower the soil pH
Vinegar is also used to acidify the soil

It can drastically reduce your soil pH. But this change is short-lived because bacterial action will degrade its effectiveness. So add this mixture to your irrigation system and regularly use it to lower pH of your water and soil. It is cost-effective and we can use it on a large scale.  Use a pH meter to determine the water pH before and after adding the mixture.

Before you Proceed

  • Though these measures act quickly they provide the only temporary solution. We still might need organic matter to maintain the pH level. Organic matter helps to increase the reserve acidity of the soil. Organic matter you add now will help you later.
  • Always perform a soil test before making any alterations. It will give a clear picture of what your soil is really lacking – nutrients, pH, etc.
  • Based on the concentration of the product, the amount to be used varies. Therefore refer the product label, manufacturer’s instructions for correct dosage. It also depends on your soil condition and soil type. That is why there is a need for a soil test.
  • Always gradually reduce the pH and repeat the process over a period of time, to achieve the desired result. Soil pH when drastically reduced affects both the plants and micro-life in the soil.
  • Perform a soil test after making these amendments. Wait 2-3 weeks before repeating the process. Overdoing can cause adverse effects.

Lower the soil pH

Once you get the desired pH; make efforts to maintain the pH. Ammonium-based nitrogen fertilizers can help maintain the acidity of the soil. Increasing the acidity of the irrigation water also helps. Still, if it does not work, try planting crops that are tolerant of your present soil conditions. Hence it is necessary to lower the soil pH before planting.

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