Adding garden sulphur is the most effective way to lower the pH of alkaline soil. Unlike lime for acid soil, however, you need a lighter hand with sulphur: .5 kg per 10 square metres (1 lb per 100 square feet) is a good starting application. You’ll need to wait at least 2 months before reapplying, because too much sulphur can burn plant roots. There are also fertilizers designed for acid-loving plants that you can apply to help reduce soil alkalinity.
The Organic Option
Many organic soil amendments help to acidify soil, including oak leaves, leaf mold, peat moss and composted sawdust. As alkaline soils often predominate in arid climates, these amendments will also help to retain much-needed moisture in the soil.
When soil has a high pH, the water in the area also tends to be alkaline. So if you’re irrigating using tap or pond water, you are adding to your alkalinity problems. You can offset this by setting up a rain barrel to catch precipitation from your roof gutters, and then using this water for your containers and borders.
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