Is My Soil Too Acidic?

March 2, 2020 6:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Unless you’re heavily involved in gardening, you might have never heard about lawn soil pH acidity in Broward County, FL. Soil pH is a crucial factor for the health of the grass, trees, flowers and shrubs across your property. If the soil is too acidic or too alkaline, the plants won’t be able to absorb nutrients or grow. Keep reading to learn more about soil acidity and what you need to do to adjust it.

How is acidity measured?

The degree of acidity is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, where a pH of seven is neutral. Anything over seven is alkaline, and anything below seven is acidic. The ideal pH for most plants and lawn grass is 6.5, which is just a touch on the acidic side. Soil acidity will naturally drop over time due to the presence of carbonic acid in rainfall. Using nitrogen fertilizers also drops the soil’s pH level, as do decomposing leaves and other organic matter.

How can I tell if my soil is too acidic?

Yellow or brown spots on plants and grass, stunted growth, wilted leaves and poor stem development are just a few signs that your soil’s pH is too low. However, the only surefire way to tell if your soil is too acidic is with a pH test. A soil pH test can either be performed by a professional or by yourself with a test kit.

There are tons of different pH test kits that you can buy at hardware stores, but we recommend hiring a pro to conduct a test. After testing your soil, a professional will be able to recommend a treatment plan going forward to correct the pH imbalance.

Raising pH in acidic soil

Professionals can quickly raise lawn soil pH acidity in Broward County, FL if necessary. Here’s how they do it:

  • Lime: Limestone is by far the most popular product for raising pH. Calcitic and dolomitic limestone are the two main types of limestone used for this process, and they both work equally well. Lime works best when it is worked down into the soil, which is why professionals often apply lime when they aerate lawns.
  • Wood ash: Sprinkling a half-inch of wood ash over the soil and mixing it into the soil about a foot deep can have the same effects as lime over time. Though this process does take longer, it’s a great way to recycle those old ashes in your fireplace or fire pit.

Lowering pH in alkaline soil

On the flipside of things, we may need to lower your soil’s pH if it’s too alkaline. These are the products we advise using:

  • Sulfur: The easiest and most popular way to lower the pH level is by spreading sulfur across the soil. Sulfur is slow-acting, so you shouldn’t apply more than two pounds per 100 square feet at a time. For best results, we recommend hiring a professional to do the job.
  • Mulches and compost: As we discussed above, as organic matter breaks down, it naturally makes soil more acidic. Regularly spreading compost and organic mulch will lower the pH to the desired 6.5 mark.

If your lawn soil pH acidity in Broward County, FL isn’t where it needs to be, then give us a call to get a pH test. Spillers Sprinklers Inc. provides free estimates for all of our services—we look forward to working with you soon!

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