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Hi, I have an allotment measuring 80 x 30 foot. I tested the soil recently with a kit bought from B & Q and found the soil to be extremely alkine. The instructions in the kit recommend applying Sulphate of Ammonia to reduce the pH. How much should I apply and when ? I have recenly finished turning over the plot. Can I apply in winter or wait until spring ?  Any advice please ?


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,528
    Such kits are not overly reliable.
    I've tried different ones over the years and got very different results from them, but they always indicated my soil was alkaline to a greater or lesser extent.
    Which made me wonder why so many acers/rhododenrons/pieris etc all flourish in this area.
    A couple of years ago I came across a site run by National Soil Resources Institute at the uni of Cranfield and supported by defra. This site indicates that my soil is slightly acidic, which makes sense.
    It's worth double checking before you take any action.
    Just click on Search and tap in the postcode on the link above
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you for the info. I'll them a try.  Any more advice on using Sulhate of Ammonia from anyone would be appreciated though.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,449
    @Pete.8 Thanks for the link to a most interesting site.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,528
    Thanks PJ - you're welcome
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you Del. I live in Llanelli, South Wales. I have relatively clayey soil. It'son the site of an old coal tip.  The kit I used came with a colour chart ranging from extremely alkaline (dark green) to very acidic (dark red). My test showed up dark green.                                                                              I need a better test done as you say Del. I'll go along with Pete's suggestion.                                                                                                                                                                                                         We all grow most crops but potatoes, swedes and parsnips have been poor the last couple of years. My plot was well manured two years ago with cow manure.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,987
    Manure is usually on the Acidic side. In terms of using Sulphate of ammonia if you wish to,  wait till spring or the winter rains will probably wash it all out again. It is not possible to change the underlying characteristics of a soil unless you use a very heavy intervention (i.e. tones of topsoil or tones of a chemical). You say your site is on an old coal tip so your conditions may well be different to the normal underlying soil.  I agree that a more accurate test is probably needed. It may be worth asking British Coal about the conditions of the ground in your area they should have some information even though mining may have  finished some time ago.
    AB Still learning

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,528
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you all for your help. Cheers
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