Organic methods to acidify high pH soil
I just enjoyed an article from MSU on adding elderberry to the home garden and noticed the plant prefers a pH around 6 - 6.5. I had county extension soil tests a few years back when moving to this old farmstead, testing three separate areas of the yard, and was surprised to see the pH range from 7.3 to 7.8. I have learned of many plants and some trees that will tolerate or prefer alkaline growing conditions. The trees so far are English Oaks and Bosnian Pine, and smoke bush. Clematis vines do well here. Can you help with more tree and shrub selections, please, and also organic methods of lowering pH? I understand high ratios of compost in the soil help to buffer pH. Is this the best organic option? Kind regards, Lynn Moss
Bay County Michigan
Organic matter at 5% of total soil composition is desirable because, as you noted, it does help hold nutrients, water, and encourage microbial and soil insect activity, which helps release nutrients for plants.