Confused by how to conduct a soil pH test? Unsure about what the numbers actually mean? Don’t know whether your soil needs to acidic or alkaline? Never fear, the Daleys Turf team are here to help you through the process.
Let’s start at the very beginning…pH is measured on a scale of 0-14. The lower numbers represent acidic soils, higher numbers represent alkaline soils, and 7 is neutral. The number you are looking for, for a healthy lawn, is between 6 and 7. Why is this important? pH affects the solubility of nutrients and minerals that are essential for lawn growth. If you soil is outside of that 6 or 7 range then it becomes difficult or impossible for vital nutrients to be absorbed.
Measuring your soil’s pH
Just pick up a soil pH kit from your local lawn care supplier, nursery or hardware store. Collect a few soil samples from different locations throughout your lawn. Mix the samples together in order to receive an average reading of your whole lawn. Follow the directions supplied with the test kit and wait for the result. Typically the process goes like this – get the soil sample, add some pH dye, mix the soil and dye together and dust this paste-like substance with the white powder provided, wait for the results and compare the colour of your soil sample to the colour chart supplied.
Result too high
The pH level of your soil can be lowered with a sulphur product like sulphate of ammonia – 100g per square metre reduces the pH by one unit.
Results too low
The pH level of your soil can be raised with agricultural lime or calcium carbonate. Always check the application rates on the bag – it could range from 100g- 250g per square metre. As an added bonus, lime with help to improve drainage and the structure of clay soils.
For more lawn care advice and help just contact the team at Daleys Turf – we’re here to support you for the life of your lawn.