One of the most popular topics for discussion amongst gardeners is how to quickly raise pH in soil, and at what cost. Whether you want to be a hobbyist or just want to keep your favorite plants healthy and thriving, it’s important that you understand what pH is, why it matters for gardening, and what can be done about it if necessary.
How to Quickly Raise the pH in Soil?
You can quickly raise the pH in soil by using Agricultural Lime, Potassium Carbonate, Baking Soda, Wood Ash, Dolomitic Lime, Hydrated Lime, or Oyster Shell Lime.
I will now give an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of each method. In the end, you should have a good idea of which method is best for you!
1. Potassium Carbonate
This is my favorite method for quickly raising the pH levels in the soil. Potassium carbonate is available as a powder or liquid, and it is also known as Potash. It works by neutralizing acids in the soil!
Potassium carbonate is a lime-based compound that is often added to the soil using drip irrigation. It has very high solubility, making it easy to apply the entire root area with just one application.
2. Agricultural Lime
This is the most common method used by professionals. Agricultural Lime is Calcium Carbonate and comes in powdered form or pellets. It can raise pH anywhere from 0.75-14 units at a time!
Agricultural lime has low solubility, so it doesn’t penetrate deeply. This is fine for most plants, but this will be an issue if your plant is under a huge mound of soil.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a cheap and easy way to raise the pH in your soil. You can use it with or without modifications, but if you have some baking powder at home, then there’s no need for anything else!
Baking soda is an effective way of changing the soil pH level. When used correctly, it can change the PH levels in less than 24 hours. The results may not be as effective as other options, but it gets the job done.
4. Wood Ash
Wood ash is an organic way to raise the pH in the soil. It is made up of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other elements that may be beneficial for plants. However, it can also have some negative side effects when used incorrectly!
Wood ash is a good solution if you need to quickly change your soil’s pH level without spending much money or time on it. The best time to add wood ash is before planting, not after.
5. Dolomitic Lime
Known as calcium magnesium carbonate, it’s no surprise that this contains calcium and magnesium, which are both essential nutrients for plants.
Dolomitic lime is an effective option if you want your pH levels raised fast! The only drawback here would be the fact that it also increases magnesium levels, so it may not work well with certain plants because too much magnesium can be bad for them.
6. Hydrated Lime
This is a quick way of changing the soil’s pH level. However, it takes some time for this method to take effect and have an impact on your plants.
I don’t recommend that beginners use this product as too much can damage the plant. It is best suited to professionals with lots of experience in the niche.
7. Oyster Shell Lime
Oyster shell lime is an organic method for raising the pH of your garden. It has a calcium content of roughly 40%, so it’s useful for correcting soil deficiencies.
This is safe to use, whether you’re a beginner or a professional! The only concern is that it takes time to work and can be expensive.
How to Test the PH After Using These Products?
The best way to test the soil is with a pH tester, which is inexpensive and easy to use. The tester will give you an accurate reading of your soil’s pH, which is essential for knowing if the method that you used worked or not!
A neutral pH balance is ideal for most soils, but if you want to raise it past 7.5, then lime might be the answer.
It’s important to keep checking the soil as fertilizer and other materials can make your soil more acidic. This is why I advise frequently checking the soil and adjusting how much of each product you use. This will keep your plants healthy in the long run.
In conclusion, there are a number of effective ways to quickly raise the pH in soil. However, the best method depends on your specific situation.
I like using potassium carbonate as it’s very effective, but it can be expensive if using large amounts. It’s best to be organic where possible.
Baking soda is a good solution if you have some in the kitchen and don’t want to purchase any of the other options.
I hope this article has been helpful!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.