Increasing ph in soil before planting lilac

Asked May 16, 2017, 12:55 PM EDT

Hi! I tested my native soil in my yard in Tigard and have determined that to give my new Lilac bush the best chance to thrive I should probably amend the soil to increase the alkalinity. I am planning to apply lime, how long do you think it will take to change the the soil's ph and can you advise as to the best way to do this? Thank you, Anne Lawrance Tigard

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question and congratulations on conducting a soil test. There is no magic bullet for quickly changing soil pH. Rather, the soil pH will change over time with the application of lime. That is not a reason to postpone planting a lilac.

The Oregon State University Extension has some guidance on how much lime to apply and when. First, check out this brief publication that explains pH in "friendly" terms, called "Think like a plant when measuring soil pH".

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/think-plant-when-measuring-soil-ph-1

Then, take a look at this publication on interpreting soil pH. It describes application rates and types of lime.

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/lane/sites/default/files/documents/soil_test_4_interpretation.pdf

I hope that answers your question.

Good luck.