30 Aug 2018

I’m Installing Turf: Soil pH

Posted by Leo

When installing new turf most people think of the obvious concerns – how much turf do I need? Will my turf get enough sunlight? How often will I need to water my turf? – Most of us would not even think about Soil pH.

pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline soil is, its’s measured on a scale from 1 to 14, soil with a pH measurement of below 7 is acidic, while a measure above 7 is alkaline. Having the correct soil pH for your turf is very important, as pH influences soil structure, nutrient availability, soil bacteria and toxicity. 

Testing for pH is very easy, you can either buy a pH testing kit or do it yourself with some common items that can be found in your kitchen cupboards. To do it yourself you will need, vinegar, baking soda, two clean bowls, distilled water (not tap water) and some soil from you yard. Firstly put a couple of spoonfuls of soil into one bowl and add ¼ to ½ cup of vinegar to the soil, if the mixture fizzes you have alkaline soil and you soil pH is likely between 7.5 and 9. If no reaction occurs take a couple of spoonfuls of soil and mix with the distilled water in the second bowl, then add ¼ to ½ cup baking soda. If the mixture fizzes you have acidic soil and the pH is likely between 6.5 and 4, if your soil didn’t react to either test than you have neutral soil with a ph of 7! Be sure to get soil samples from a couple of different areas in your yard as pH can vary.

BC Sands stocks the Sir Walter Buffalo Turf, Sir Walter grows best in soils with a pH between 6 and 8. There are a couple of way to change to pH of your soil to best suit your new turf, the easiest way is to add soil that has a known pH range. BC Sands stock Turf Gro Premium Top Dressing & Underlay, Turf Gro has a pH range of between 7 and 8 and is specifically formulated to support the growth of Sir Walter Buffalo Turf.

Alternately you can lower the pH of your soil by adding compost and manure (except chicken/poultry manure) to your soil, as the compost/manure breaks down it will make your soil more acidic. If you need to make your soil more alkaline you can add lime or chicken/poultry manure, as it breaks down it will increase the pH of your soil.

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