The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Soil Acidification Results

Yellow blueberry leaves in high pH soil.Remember how I experimented with chemical versus organic methods of acidifying the ground for our blueberries?  The results are in, and I'm afraid the chemicals won.

I only had a dozen data points, so the results of my paired t-test weren't significant.  But there was a definite trend toward better health among the blueberries grown on sulfur-treated soil versus those grown on pine-needle-treated soil.  The photo to the right shows one of the stressed plants --- yellow leaves with green veins are a textbook sign of iron deficiency due to high pH.

I guess I'll probably buy some more elemental sulfur to drop the pH in the short term, but will also keep applying pine needles as more of a long term fix.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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hmm, maybe that is why my blueberry bushes look so sickly. I did some research apparently, pine needles acidification is very short lived.
Comment by Rebecca My Tue Dec 15 10:15:28 2009
I'm hoping that short term acidification with chemicals and long term acidification with lots of pine needles will work. I'd hate to have to keep applying chemicals every year!
Comment by anna Tue Dec 15 10:23:45 2009

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