alkline soil - how to reduce the ph?

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sue-the-recycler
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alkline soil - how to reduce the ph?

Postby sue-the-recycler » Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:25 am

Hi - Merry Christmas folks
I have just opened and used one of my christmas presents (never could wait till the big day :D )Now I knew my soil was alkaline but have been shocKed to discover just how alkaline it is - the reading was off the scale which only goes up to 8.0. I did the test twice using rainwater the second time (as our tap water is so full of lime limesclae can kill a kettle in a mater of weeks)but the result was the same. My soil is clay but not the very worst heavy kind. I havent had a full growing season on my new ground yet so I havent encountered any major problems so far but with that level of ph I know I will. So whats the best solution? The raised beds are 50/50 garden soil and bought in compost to get them started and I've got several compost and leaf mould heaps on the go that should be ready in the spring and I have a ready supply of chicken manure. Any thoughts?
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John
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Postby John » Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:22 pm

Hello Sue
Don't panic!
Rain water is often acidic so for the purest water I would use stuff from thawing out ice from the freezer - this is in effect distilled water. Where did you get your soil samples from? When sampling your soil avoid the surface layers as these may give you a false reading, instead get soil from 6 - 9 in and lower which of course is where the plant roots will be. Try to collect several samples from the test area and aggregate these then take out your sample for testing.
If you still get high readings I wouldn't try to make any corrections to the pH yet. Get a full normal growing season in and see what your crops tell you - these after all are the best 'real' testing kits that you can get! Don't get too stressed up about this pH thing. Remember that most crops are very tolerant of quite a wide pH range. With a high pH and clay soil you'll certainly have the best brassicas in town.

Happy Christmas
John

The rest of us on the forum are going to wait and open our presents on Christmas morning!!!
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Tony Hague
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Postby Tony Hague » Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:59 pm

What did you use to measure soil pH ? I have one of those
pH meters which have a probe that should be sandpapered lightly then pushed into the ground. I proceeded for a year or two
believing it that my soil was rather acid, until when mixing up potting compost doubt set in; no amount of lime made it read alkaline; indeed a paste of garden lime and water still registered acid ! In fact my soil is slightly alkaline, according to universal indicator solution, which I trust.

I find it hard to believe that these pH meters are sold, when actually they don't appear to work.
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