PH question

I just received my soil test. It indicated a ph of 7.6. When I called the company that did the test, they said that 7.6 was not a problem. Other tests was about normal. The organic mater was 5.4. The reason I ordered the test that nothing grows very well. What is your thought on this?
Thanks
Gary
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Soil must drain well -- if you have clay one foot down, it will never drain well, & plants will be too wet too often to thrive.
Soil should have a high portion of organic matter in it, requiring in some cases quite literally tons of compost or peat to be worked deeply into the soil before planting begins.
Soil should not be compacted on the surface, or mild waterings or rainfall will not do more than dampen the surface & never reach the plants' roots.
Adequate watering that penetrates deeply but drains swiftly is required of the majority of garden plants.
Adequate sunlight is required.
Adequate microorganisms in the soil are required because they are what manufacture nitrogens & make sugars accessible for plant use. Microorganisms will never be adequate in soil with very little organic matter in it, or which is too often too dry or too wet.
Gardening takes a knack that can be honed over time, & once you get the knack, it may not even be possible to figure out what it was you must have done wrong before things started working out so well. The acts of correcing whatever is obviously wrong will help in acquiring the knack that some call a Green Thumb.
Plant choices should be zone-approrpriate so that your weather patterns don't just kill stuff.
You don't give enough information for a definitive answer, but my guess is if you deeply worked all the soil with a shitload of compost, you'd see striking improvements.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 21:27:25 -0400, "Gary and Karen Manning"

Is the 5.4 a percentage? If so, add compost to your soil. It will help neutralize the slightly alkaline condition you have too. I would not try to adjust the pH, but that depends on what you are trying to grow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 21:27:25 -0400, Gary and Karen Manning wrote:

7.6 is fine for most plants. It's middle of the scale. Some plants (Azaleas, Rhodies for example) like a sightly more acidic soil, in the 5.+ range.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

called
Other
ordered
I think one can make the argument that a pH of 7.6 is not the middle of the scale and may be more detrimental than not. The changes in pH is a logarithmic progression with each point being a 10 fold increase over the preceeding. Therefore, ericaceous plants like rhododendrons and azaleas which would prefer a soil pH in the 4.5 to 5.2 range or more than 100 times more acidic than the existing 7.6 conditions. Hardly "slightly " more acidic.
By far the majority of plants will thrive in soils with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 or slightly acidic to neutral. Too much digression in either direction will limit the nutrient availability and restrict the selection. If given a choice, I'd err on the side of more acidic soil rather one that is more alkaline.
While soil pH is definitely an important consideration, it is, as paghat has pointed out, only one consideration in determining how well plants will survive in the landscape. There are many other issues which may have as large if not a larger bearing on plant health. Without knowing in more detail exactly what your soil and growing conditions are like, it is pretty difficult to speculate on why your plants are not thriving.
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
i would have to agree with a lot of what "gardengal" says below.
i have soil ph at 7.7 and despite adding mountains of organic matter over the last 3 years, i've yet to get it to budge closer to neutral. my soil is a sandy loam and with all the organic matter, my garden is more robust than any of my friend's/family's. so, soil ph of 7.6 can be a limiting factor but only to the point that you're unwilling to improve your soil. ph of 6.5 is near perfect for most veggies. it's also possible to lower your ph using sulfur but many studies suggest that any gain you get is offset by the negative effects of sulfur.
bottomline - organic matter fixes all soil problems - with fall on the horizon, rescue as many bags of leaves from the curbside and til them into your soil this fall. keep doing this til your soil can hold no more (i til in at least 12 inces every fall). by the time u plant next spring, the leaves will have rotted into your soil. repeat every fall and watch your soil pay dividends....

the
times
will
has
pretty
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Depends a lot on what you want to grow, but it does sound a little too alkaline for a lot of plants. But the again will suit many others.
If your interested in rose growing you will find a useful article on the Bexrose web site http://home.btconnect.com/cadoss/bexrose that discusses soil Ph values and some remedies for the situation that you might have. The advice given will also suit the growing of many other plants of course.
Regards
Martin Double Bexrose - Webmaster
Email: snipped-for-privacy@btconnect.com Web Site: http://home.btconnect.com/cadoss/bexrose

Other
ordered
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When I wanted to acidify some soil for blueberries I obtained a 50lb bag of agricultural sulfur from snow-pond supply. It is pretty hard to come by locally as out soils tend towards acid in the northeast. Try snow-pond in a search engine they have a big list of organic ammendments and such.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.