Question: Soil chemistry and acidification

manzanar manzanar at
Wed Jan 3 00:06:22 EST 2001


Have you thought of adding ground sulfur to your growth medium and
innoculating with naturally occuring bacteria strains.  I have used this
method for a number of years, the innoculating bacteria obtained from the
environs from which the plant naturally populates.  Although I have no hard
and fast laboratory data to back me up, I do know that I have been able to
increase/decrease pH suitable to either individual plant species or groups
of unrelated species such that I have obtained good results.  Let me know.

manzanar at

"Mike the Tree Doctor" <mlamana at> wrote in message
news:akJ36.828$8r2.92345 at
> Folks:
> This is basically a soil chemistry question....
> I am ruminating the effects of installing an irrigation acidification
> for use on about 100 acres of botanical garden that is dominated by
> species from all over the eastern half of the US. The soil is calcareous
> origin and silty (though very sticky when wet), has pH of about 6.8
> it is quite a matrix of mixed soils, outside fills, and older, weathered
> materials), and the ratio of Mg : Ca hovers around 17% : 63% of total base
> saturation.  Our water has a pH of ca. 6.5  with a lot of carbonates
> dissolved.
> The system we were contemplating would inject acid into our irrigation
> waters and then spray out onto the plants and soils. We intend on trying
> sulfuric to buffer down to pH of about 6.0 - 6.2.
> The goal of the treatment is to increase the mobility of Mg, B, Fe, and
> and thus favor those species that have affinities to more acidic environs
> than we presently offer.
> Any thoughts re: the aftermath of washing the soils with such a solution
> of the effects of all of the sulfate it would supply? Will I wash a lot of
> Mg out of the soil? What about Potassium deficiency??
> Thanks in advance to all!!
> Mike the Tree Doctor
> email:mike at treedoctorsdot dashcom (replace dot dash with a period)

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