A: Remember soil pH indicates the acidity (below 7) or the alkalinity (above 7) of the soil. This is an important factor in the absorption of elements such as iron. As a general rule, animal manures raise soil pH because they often contain calcium and magnesium. In addition, amending soils with manures help improve soil nutrients and texture. It is possible to add too much organic matter so be cautious when amending soils. If too much manure is added, the roots can be “burned” and absorption of water and nutrients will be diminished or cease. Organic matter is a wonderful soil amendment for perennials and annuals. It would be advisable to have a complete soil analysis if a new garden is being established. Extension offices have soil test kits to analyze phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg). This test also provides nitrogen and lime recommendations. The University of Florida charges $7 per test – a bargain for the information it provides. Contact your local Extension office for more information. Yulee Satellite office: 904 – 530-6350. Callahan Office: 904 530-6353
Q: Does adding manure lower or raise soil pH?