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How Can I Make My Soil More Acidic?

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Question: How Can I Make My Soil More Acidic?
Answer:

Some trees and shrubs require acidic soil pH (below 7.0) or they will develop iron chlorosis. Examples include river birch, blueberries, azaleas and rhododendrons. While it is easier to work with plants adapted to your current soil pH, there are amendments you can use to make your soil more acidic.

In order to calculate how much amendment you need to add, make sure you know the current pH of your soil. Basic tests are available at home improvement stores and nurseries, or you can contact your extension office for a more accurate test.

Here are the most common amendments. You should be able to find them at nurseries or garden supply stores.

Aluminum sulfate

Contact your local extension for the amount you will need for your soil type and current pH.

Iron sulfate

Contact your local extension for the amount you will need for your soil type and current pH.

Sphagnum peat moss

When preparing your soil for planting, place 4-6" of acidic peat moss on your topsoil and till to a depth of 6". This will acidify the soil for several years.

Sulfur

Sulfur will take some time to lower the soil pH, so it should be added the year before you want to plant. Contact your local extension for the amount you will need for your soil type and current pH.

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