How to Raise pH in Soil Organically

how to raise ph in soilSometimes, our raised-bed gardening soil needs a little extra attention. To grow properly, plants require a balanced approach in their growing medium and this means providing optimally conditioned soil. We left chemical fertilizers and pesticides behind us a long time ago to subscribe to a homesteading, organic growing philosophy, and we needed to learn how to raise pH in soil without chemical intrusion.

From neem oil to fish emulsion, our garden only gets supplements that won't add to the pollution backlog further down the food chain. As a result, we are all healthier and happy, which is great because so is our garden. Adjusting our pH levels using organic methods was the only way to go for us, and here are some solutions. 

How to Raise pH in Soil Organically

how to raise ph in soil
Knowing how to raise the ph in soil organically is as simple as understanding how your additives work and finding the proper balance. 

Fortunately, there is plenty of information available on online, so all you need to do is know your current pH level and stick to the formulas to adjust it.

Keeping your pH balanced is a relative exercise and depends on the types of plants being grown. There may be obvious indicators such as burnt leaves or withering, but even if there isn't, it is always best to research your veggies, fruits and decorative plants for their preferred pH level. 

Step 1: How to Test Soil pH the Homesteading Way

how to test soil phDo a soil test to determine the pH level before adding any type of organic material. Purchase a test kit from a garden supply center and follow the directions regarding how to test soil pH that will come in the kit.

Soil samples from 5 different garden locations can be collected and taken to your local county extension office for testing if you don’t want to do the test yourself.

The test will reveal what your garden soil needs in order to supply to adequate food to plants.

Step 2: Raise pH in Soil With Lime

how to raise ph in soil
Lime is powder created from lime stone and will raise pH in soil organically. It is comprised of mineral calcite and is considered a sedimentary rock. Many fossils are found in limestone deposits. The addition of powdered lime to highly acidic (sour) soil will sweeten the soil and bring the pH level to a more productive balance.

Most plants grow best in soil that has a pH level of 6.0-7.0. Some plants, like tomatoes, grow best in a slightly higher acidic soil level, and plants like asparagus prefer a lower pH level.

Step 3: How To Apply Lime

how to raise ph in soilTo raise soil pH using organic lime, spread lime powder on top of garden soil at the rate of 2 pounds per 100 feet. If soil is heavy clay, double the amount of lime. 

Use a tiller to work the lime into the soil thoroughly. Water soil until it is saturated to the depth of 6 inches to allow the lime to soak throughout the soil.

An application of lime should be done in the fall, and it could take up to 2 years before the pH level reaches the desired level.

Step 4: How To Raise pH In Soil With Baking Soda

how to raise ph in soil with baking soda
Lastly knowing how to raisin the pH in soil with baking soda is one of the fastest, easiest and least expensive methods available.

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 gallon of water and apply to garden soil. Saturate the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Wait 1 week before planting to give the baking soda time to raise the soil pH organically.

Baking soda can be applied to soil anytime, but is best done in fall or early spring.

A pH Balanced Homesteading Garden

We love sharing our lessons and experiences with you all, and look forward to hearing your perspectives as well. Do you have any tips on how to raise pH in soil organically? When did you learn how to test soil pH, and did the results increase your yields and plant health? Let us know by joining the conversation below!


candy said…
Glad to know I have been doing it right for years. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.
Lisa Lynn said…
I actually have the opposite problem in my garden. Most of my crops do well, but I can't grow blueberries or azaleas here. Good info! Saw your post on the Simple Homestead hop this morning. :)
WT said…
It's a simple thing, but few folks know to contact their extension office for free help-
Cheers, and thanks for dropping in!
WT said…
We have blueberries all around the homestead, and will be putting in a few azaleas as well this spring. I know they have specific fertilizer and soil requirements- these will be lessons we teach ourselves when planting time comes:)
Cheers, and thanks for dropping in!