Ash and Soil Acidity

Asked September 1, 2013, 3:29 PM EDT

What should I use to amend my soil for vegetables that won't make the soil more acid? Does ash make the soil less acidic? thanks!

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Because of the high salt and potassium in wood ashes (don't use burnt garbage or charcoal) the recommendation is for only 15#/1000 sq. ft. Ag lime comes in 100 score quicker release and pelleted.The latter is a lot easier to use and spread. Lime needs to go into the soil in the fall, early winter. Calcium carbonate ((Ag lime) is the most common, but Dolomite lime adds magnesium if your soil needs that. Both will raise pH. How much to use depends on your soil. Sand does not need much, clay does. Over winter the rain will help break down the lime and the soil life will also do a good job once soil temps are above 50 degrees. Be sure not to lime where you will have plants that prefer the lower pH. There is a good publication through Oregon State University Extension online on liming and liming materials. We also grind and use all our egg shells for a slow feed sweetener.