7.8 PH

Asked April 2, 2019, 7:55 PM EDT

I get a soil test every so often. In 2007, my soil PH in my garden was 7.6 (8000 sq ft). I applied 150 lbs of sulfur, it looked like small yellow lentils, 5 years later, I again applied another 150 lbs if sulfur. My latest soil test shows a PH of 7.8 Huhhhhh?????? So, this year, how much sulphur should I apply without over doing it? I generally apply ammonium sulfate as a side dressing for my cabbage type plants and corm. Just how fast does my garden "eat" sulfur and should I be putting on 50# of the sulfur every year in the early spring just before I till to plant my early crops of spinach and stuff? FYI I heat my house with wood, and I have a hammermill that I process all the branches through, this 6' pile of chips is then mixed with urea and allowed to sit for a year, then the resulting (very dark brown by now) mulch is used around the tomatoes and peppers. I DO NOT use any ash from the wood burner in the garden, but my high PH has to be coming from somewhere, I'd really like to get it down to a constant 6.5-6.8. Thanks for your input. Craig Wuennecke Romeo, MI

Macomb County Michigan

4 Responses

Hello. Would you be willing to send me the code for your most recent soiltest so I can look at it? Thank you.

My Code # is CMC9R2. The next ?? is, my potassium is at the high side of normal, why are you recommending a 24-0-16 fertilizer? Shouldn't I be able to skip the potassium altogether and just use Ammonium Sulfate as a side dressing on things like my cabbage type plants, spinach and corn?
FYI, I have an irrigation system drawing from my pond (no chemicals) and I put maybe 800 lbs of mulch from year old branches I have run through my hammermill. I water the pile and add Urea to it to help break down the chips throughout the summer and use as mulch around my tomatoes and peppers. Crops that do good are tomatoes & peppers, corm is so-so cabbage is OK but broccoli and cauliflower don;t do as well, and I have totally given up on eggplant and onions. Thanks for the insite ! Craig

I have looked over your soil test and the recommended tip sheets that were included with your results. When I look at the table of nutrients and your pH it looks like all the major nutrients are available at your pH. Also, your CEC should be able to hold and use nutrients without them leaching through the soil too quickly. Keep your mulch covering no more than 3” but 2” is probably better and keep it away from the crown of the plant. Your organic matter is also at a good level. As you are finding out, changing pH is not an easy matter and unless you want to grow blueberries it may not be necessary. Please review the tip sheet on pH-the link is provided in your results. About the potassium, the recommendation made by the soil lab folks are based on the fact that you are growing vegetables and the type of soil you have. If you had asked for a lawn/turf test the recommendations might be different. If you are still concerned about your pH perhaps you will want to think about finding out the pH of your pond water. Hope this helps.

Thank You about checking the pond water, never would have thought of that. The high part of the garden dried up enough today to get the tiller out and go down about 4". If the rain holds out, I'll have beets and spinach in the ground by Wednesday ! I appreciate your insight :-) Craig