Soils vary in their mineral content according to local geology, and these variations affect the relative acidity or alkalinity of the soil—a level that is measured by a pH scale. Blueberry bushes, rhododendrons, azaleas and holly like acid soil. Read more articles about Soil, Fixes & Fertilizers. Simply add an inch or two of peat to the topsoil in and around plants, or during planting. Look for fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, or sulfur-coated urea. By doing so, you can affect the pH over a large patch of soil or just around a single plant. How to Improve Garden Soil With Amendments, When to Use Lime as a Soil Amendment for Your Lawn, Alkaline Soil and Plants That Don't Mind Alkalinity, Acidic Soil: What It Is, How You Can Change It, Soil pH: What It Means and Why It Matters. Sign up for our newsletter. This will acidify the soil for about two years. In some instances, applying elemental sulfur (flowers of sulfur) is effective. However, there are recent concerns about the possible dangers of aluminum toxicity, which can be especially damaging to children. The ideal soil pH for most landscape plants and turf grasses is around 6.5, which is slightly... Sulfur. Let’s take a look at how to raise acid level in soil. Adding organic matter, such as compost, composted manure, and certain mulches, can lower the pH over time, but it’s not a quick fix. For other plants, safer options are available, such as ammonium sulfate.. Every farmer needs to know how to make soil more acidic or alkaline, depending on the crops grown. The good news is that property owners can make their soil more acidic with little-to-no professional assistance. To lower the pH level of soil and make it more acidic, vinegar can be applied by hand or using an irrigation system. Granular sulfur is deemed safe and cost effective for smaller garden areas, with applications of no more than 2 pounds (.9 kg.) In many ways, though, it is the best option. Are Coffee Grounds Good for Magnolia Trees? They all like acidic soil. If your plants arent growing in your soil conditions because of too much alkalinity, then it may be necessary to learn more about how to raise acid level in soil pH. It's best to apply sulfur in the summer or fall before the following spring planting season, digging it deep into the soil. Methods for Increasing Soil Acidity Some Plants Need More. If you have soil that is not acidic enough for your favorite fruits or flowers, it’s possible to make it more acidic by adding various natural ingredients. Lower numbers are acidic, higher numbers are alkaline. If you're serious about growing plants or making your soil more acidic for whatever reason, you'll know that professional sampling is more accurate than DIY home tests. It can be dug into the soil around the base of plants to increase sulfur levels in the soil. Any measurement above 7 is considered alkaline. For more information, check out my article about soil testing. The middle (7) is considered neutral while levels falling below 7 are acidic and those above that number are alkaline. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Sulfur will take some time to lower the soil pH, so it should be added the year before you want to plant. Iron sulfate will provide faster results than sulfur (in three or four weeks) but can damage plants if over-used. Elemental sulfur takes time to react, so it’s best if you add it to the soil the year before... 2. What do azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries have in common? Some of the most common and sought-after plants actually prefer acidic soil, even though many of them may be grown in a wide range of growing conditions. If you don’t already live in an area where the soil is acidic, making soil acidic will involve adding products that lower the soil pH. Before making soil acidic, you should first perform a soil test, which your local County Extension Office can assist you with, if needed.