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What makes soil acid or alkiline?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by girliemac on May 10, 2005 03:49 AM
If I added manure and peat moss to my soil am I changing the soil to make it acidic or alkaline?
by pcgrav on May 10, 2005 05:31 AM
I read that bulbs grow really well in the Netherlands because the soil is full of seashells which makes it alkaline. So I would think that the manure and peat moss would change the acidity of the soil. You can also use lime if your soil has a pH of 5.9 or below. I think they make tests you can do yourself to check this. Check at a farm supply store if you have one nearby. You may be able to find one there.

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 - Each day is a new beginning...What you begin is your choice.
 - The pleasure you receive from life is equal only to the attitude you put into it.
by Bill on May 10, 2005 06:26 AM
Manure and peat moss definately add to the soil's acidity!

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by girliemac on May 12, 2005 12:44 AM
I'm still learning - what is humus rich soil and how do I get that?
by Bill on May 12, 2005 01:38 AM
Humus is
The brown or black organic part of the soil resulting from the partial decay of leaves and other vegetable matter.
(Basically, it's compost after it's been integrated into the mineral components of soil)

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by girliemac on May 14, 2005 12:18 AM
Thank you Bill but - does that make the soil acid or alkaline? I'm still confused. I have plants that I just purchased and some need acid soil and some need alkaline. I know I can add lime to make the soild acid but not sure about Alkaline. Would humus be alkaline or acid?
by pcgrav on May 14, 2005 12:49 AM
You can purchase humus at places like WM or nurseries or most any place that sells garden supplies. Humus rich soil is soil that has had humus (commercially made or made at home in a compost pile) added to it. I would venture to say that it would be on the acid side as it would be if you simply added manure to it. There are also products sold to make soil more alkaline for plants the require a more alkaline soil... I'm sure Bill will come along soon with more info-- but in the meantime I hope this helps some...

* * * *
 - Each day is a new beginning...What you begin is your choice.
 - The pleasure you receive from life is equal only to the attitude you put into it.
by tkhooper on May 14, 2005 01:21 AM

If you double click on the blue text bill provided in his post and read down about 3/4ths of the way it will tell you precisely what, and how much, to add to your soil to get the proper pH for your different plants.

If you can not find the information I can cut and paste it into a post on this string for you.

trying to add the correct amount of "humus" could be a long and error ridden project that could cost you many plants. This is assuming that you are planning to plant them outside.

If you are container gardening I would suggest that you buy the correctly amended potting soil for your type of plant. I'm sure you have noticed that there is special potting soil for succulents, cactus, violets, orchaids(sp) and probably more besides. Also it might be wise if it is container gardening to know how much room the plant likes to have. Many will not bloom if they are not somewhat root bound.

This is just some of the information I have been trying to gather also; because, I am a new gardener and know nothing other than what I have read on this site. Or should I say that I have been learing that just about everything I thought I knew was exactly backwards or just totally wrong.

It definitely makes me feel [Confused]

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