Most effictive and efficient way to LOWER pH?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Jason Rose, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I just checked my soil pH here again, and it's still around 8.0. Last summer (late) and again in the fall I applied Dispersul at the recommended rates (high rates) and my pH is still too high!

    Most of my shrubs I plant just die, the grass does ok in the spring but then craps out during the summer. Iv'e posted other times here about these problems. I was hoping that I was getting a handle on the situation... I'm not sure why my pH is always so high here. I maintain a lot of lawns, and mine has to be one of the worst for plant survival Iv'e seen. My soil is a pretty heavy loam, but not too bad really. Most of my neghibors do not have nice lawns, so it's hard for me to tell if this is just isolated to my little patch of ground or if it's this general area.

    I'm planning on hitting it with the Dispersul again as soon as this damn snow melts. I wish now I had put it down 2 days ago! Then I put down Miloriginite, which Iv'e been told will help increase microbial activity in the soil.

    Any suggestions? Please!
  2. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 720

    Ammonium Sulfate . . . 21-0-0-24.

    Of course, this is only a temporary fix, but for at least a short period of time, you've lowered the ph in the root zone to increase plant uptake of the available nutrients, and provide a more favorable environment for microbial activity to increase. Milorganite and Ammonium Sulfate together work beautifully on our heavy clay soils.

    I always use fert blends that contain ammonium sulfate, and use them with each application. The advantages are 2-fold: the temporary ph improvement in the root zone, and the breathtaking color. Lebanon's MESA is an excellent product.
  3. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,249

  4. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    what shrubs are you planting? with ph that high and a heavy slow draining soil, an evergreen like yews, arbiviti, pine, and the like will have a high death rate. junipers are less sensitive to the wet soils, but a fall feeding with an acidic fert and high in iron will keep them strong, same with all your evergreens, and oaks too for that matter.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I couldn't help to notice the chart for Sulfur was a typo and in fact was the same Lime chart. I hate to act like a know it all and correct a University website, BUT. 10 pounds of 0-0-0-90 sulfur per thousand sq ft will lower pH one point in 30 days is the rule I use on sandy soil.
  6. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Start using SOP in all of your fertilization apps. This will certainly help.

    I had a couple of Bermuda lawns with pH on the high side that just were not responding well to the regular program. After an extra application of SOP, they really turned around. Since your pH is much higher, it will certainly take more than one app to improve.
  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,249

    Ric: That one little "0" would make a difference. How extremly sandy soils retain any minerals surprizes me. You can dig down 6" and it will be pure sand. Thanks.
  8. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 369

    If I could talk boss man into to any more new equipment it would be a top dresser.wedont have a licenced composter around here, nor the land to do our own. then we could blend in oak leaves, s. peatmosss,e. sulphur and acidic materials. I am very leary of the tub ground yard waste that is available through the local landfill .
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Jason, have you taken a soil sample to determine what is driving your ph levels. Simply adding sulfur might be the wrong approach. High calcium levels will lock up Phos, as well as zinc, iron, manganese and other micro nutrients. You might want to consider adding micronutrients to your fertilization program. Also, your Ph could be high from excessive amounts of Magnesium, potassium, or sodium. In this type of situation, you might actually have to add more calcium, which could be done with gypsum applications. Ph is not your problem, its only a symptom of a incorrect soil balance. To correct your ph, you need to findout what is driving it and correct those nutrient levels in your soil and choose fertilizer choices accordingly. You will never permantely correct your soils ph because of the mineral makeup of the soil. Whatever is driving your ph is probably naturaly occuring and abundant in the soil and you will never get rid of it. Simply adding sulfur wont replace any missing or lockedup nutrients.
  10. thomsoutdoor

    thomsoutdoor LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,444

    muddstopper, I know I can google this but I would like to know if you can recommend any good sights on Ph problems and how to resolve them? Thanks

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