Vinegar for lowering soil pH? Anyone do this in landscape / house plants?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Marcos, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I saw on the Dave's Garden site, and some others, about how it's a common practice by some organic-minded folks to lower the pH of soils by adding small amounts of white vinegar into the plant's needed waterings.

    The general consensus that I've seen averages about 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water, applied within drip line and slightly farther out, and of course, not on the foliage.

    Anyone do this?


    I've traditionally used organics like cottonseed meal and peat moss for acid-hungry plants like pansy, pink hydrangea, some junipers, boxwood, alberta spruce, dogwood, American redbud, etc...

    But if the area is too wet (clayey) for that, I've gone with spilt-pea sulfur and /or iron sulfate to lower pH instead.
    ( Aluminum sulfate for BLUE hydrangeas.)

    I'm dealing with a range of between 7.3 to 8.0 here... in generally clay-loam soil.

    Any other ideas?
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    There is a thread on PH in the organic section
    I don't know if it will help or not with house plants. I don't think vinegar is a good choice. What do they use in the west to help acidify alkaline soils?
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Vinegar sounds pretty harsh, granted....but think about the relative concentration.
    2 tablespoons to a gallon = 1 oz vinegar to 127 oz water.
    That's VERY dilute !

    What do they use "out West" in the landscape to acidify the soil?
    You got me.
  4. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    we use pickling vinegar, 9%, as opposed to 5% regular strength, as a fence line grass killer, and weed killer on organic customers sites. Google for dilution ratios.

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