Controlling Soil pH Levels in Landscape Design: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to landscape design, soil pH is an essential factor to consider. To reduce the pH levels, gardeners and landscapers can use elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or sulfuric acid. Aluminum sulfate is the most popular choice as it quickly produces acidity when it dissolves in the soil. On the other hand, sulfur requires some time to be converted to sulfuric acid with the help of soil bacteria.

The conversion rate depends on the fineness of the sulfur, the amount of soil moisture, the soil temperature, and the presence of bacteria. Incorporating liming materials into the soil is essential for the lime reaction. For ornamental plants and turf areas, introducing organic matter into the soil before planting or sowing is even more important. A “complete fertilizer” containing all three major elements (N, P and K) is useful for a variety of soils and crops. It is also advisable to find lime that is as finely ground as possible. If you intend to grow certain plants such as vegetables, most annuals, and grass in acidic soil (soil with a pH lower than seven), it is best to perform a soil test before applying fertilizer.

Dry, lead-free wood ash can be applied to a maximum of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of soil surface in a single season. In established garden beds, it may be necessary to add 1 pound per 100 square feet every one to two years. A rotary tiller is an excellent tool for incorporating soil amendments and organic matter in orchards and shrub beds. To make sure that the right amount of fertilizer is needed, it is advisable to carry out a soil analysis every three or four years. This will help establish a record of the nutrient content of the soil and guide it in providing the level of nutrients needed by the crops being cultivated. In conclusion, controlling soil pH levels in landscape design requires careful consideration and planning.

It is important to use the right materials for reducing pH levels and incorporate liming materials into the soil. Additionally, performing a soil test before applying fertilizer and carrying out a soil analysis every three or four years are essential steps for successful landscape design.