What’s everyone using to make soil acidic?

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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,404
    I'm not sure that is the case.
    Rainwater is acidic because it mixes with CO2 in the air and produces mild carbonic acid.
    It has been this way for hundreds of thousands of years.
    If rainwater changed the pH of the soil, I would imagine that almost all soils would be acidic by now, but that's not the case.
    Soil is a powerful buffer (i.e. it strongly resists change to pH) and will always overcome any acidity in rain.
    So the best plan for blueberries is to plant in pots unless your soil is naturally acidic.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,332
    edited 22 January
    @Pete.8 the reason a lot of soils are not acidic is, as I said, both because geology is acting the other way and actively adding lime at a far higher rate than the very tiny effect rain has the other way, and also that human intervention tends to decrease acidity, whether deliberately or not. In an area that has not been intensively farmed or in other ways 'improved' (bearing in mind that adding manure tends to reduce acidity) and where the weathering of rock is not adding lime, soil is always more or less acidic. But in the UK, certainly, all those conditions are not commonly found in places where there are gardens. 

    If you look at top soil pH survey maps for the UK, you'll see acidity increasing where there is granite, where there is high ground (usually the same places) and on the western side of the country where rainfall is highest. The further south and east you go, into the limestone hills and chalk downs and onto the alluvial soils below those, you'll see pH increasing (less acid). But in my garden, where the native soil has a pH less than 5.5, you'll find it around 7 in my veg beds because I've been adding manure and compost and even some lime for my brassicas. If I dropped dead tomorrow and no one kept that effort up, in a decade or so, the soil would revert to it's acid state.

    Completely agree that it won't help the OP's blueberries  :)
    To search for perfection is all very well, but to look for heaven is to live here in hell
  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 240
    You're supposed to limit applications of iron sulphate on lawns to once a year because they make the ground acidic. I've often wondered if they'd be effective when you intentionally want the ground to be acidic, or if there would be unintended consequences.
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