Agway of Cape Cod offers a free soil pH testing service. Bring your samples (follow directions below) in to any store. Our trained staff will test your samples and call when results are available. We will offer recommendations on any curative action that should be taken depending on the crop you’re trying to grow.
Why is soil pH important?
Erosion, leaching, growing and harvesting of crops, and surrounding crops affect the availability of
soil nutrients. pH is a measure of soil acidity. If the soil pH level is too high or too low, plants will
not be able to effectively use fertilizer nutrients. This means fertilizers are wasted when the proper
soils pH is not maintained.
The availability of most soil nutrients is greatest at a pH near 6.5. Some plants (rhododendrons,
azaleas, hydrangeas, blueberries, & potatoes) like to grow in acidic soil with pH levels below 7.0.
Most flowers ornamental shrubs, trees, vegetables, and turf grasses grow best in slightly acidic
soils with a pH level between 6.1 and 6.9
Soil Sampling Instructions
- Sample plantings of specific types separately (i.e. samples from roses
should be separate from tomato garden or lawns).
- Collect soil from 4 to 6 different spots within the specific crop/area you want tested. Obtain soil from
surface to rooting depth. (Lawns 2-4” deep, most plants 6-8” deep) Mix soil together, let it air dry.
- Measure out approximately 1/4 CUP into a Ziploc bag.
- Label each bag with Name, Phone Number, and what type of crop is growing in that area (i.e. lawn, aparagus, tomatoes, blueberries, roses, etc)
- Avoid sampling soils very wet soils, soils that have been recently fertilized, or soils from the edges of
your crop’s plot. Also avoid letting the sample dry out excessively.
- Please limit your samples to no more than 6 per customer.
Products to Adjust Soil pH
Agway Fast Acting Lime
- The small, uniform granule size provides consistent coverage.
- Easy to apply with any standard spreader (for lawns) or right from the small size pouch (for gardens)
- Use less than traditional pelletized lime – one 25lb. bag covers approximately 5,000 square feet (as opposed to traditional lime which requires an application rate of 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet)
- Works faster than traditional lime; can raise pH up to a full point within weeks
- Will not make soil alkaline (will not go above 7.0 pH)
Espoma Lightning Lime
ULTRA FAST LIME
Espoma Organic Lightning Lime is no ordinary limestone. A 40 lb. bag of ordinary limestone typically covers just 1,000 square feet while a 30 lb. bag of Lightning Lime covers up to 5,000 square feet. That’s because our lime is treated with a natural humic acid that helps the soil and plants convert calcium into an immediately available form. And Lightning Lime can work in just 6 to 8 weeks instead of the up to 14 months other lime products require. Lightning Lime is also less dusty than traditional lime products and is approved for organic gardening.
Agway Pelletized Lime
Pelletized limestone offers you the best quality and value over pulverized and granular lime. Pellets are easy to spread with little dust. Water-activated pellets will break down into our finely pulverized limestone and begin working immediately after being exposed to moisture. Dolomitic lime adds calcium and magnesium, important nutrients missing from many fertilizers. One bag covers approximately 1,000 square feet.
TURNS HYDRANGEAS BLUE
Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier is the finest, most effective soil acidifier available. It contains all natural minerals that can be used to correct the problem of alkaline soil.
All natural plant supplement for Hydrangeas and blueberries
- Turns hydrangeas blue.
- Lowers the pH of soils for optimum growth of acid-loving plants.
- Provides fast acting and long lasting source of sulfur.
- Great for blueberries.
- Safer than Aluminum Sulfate*.
Bonide Garden Rich Aluminum Sulfate
Lowers soil pH for acid loving plants like azaleas, camellias, gardenias, hemlock, holly, cedar, blueberry, rhododendron, dogwood…turns hydrangeas blue. Includes easy to follow chart. Works in all soil types.
Optimum pH Levels by Crop
|Common Name||Optimum pH Range|
|Trees and Shrubs|
|Aster, New England||6.0-8.0|
|Iris, blue flag||5.0-7.5|
|Rose, hybrid tea||5.5-7.0|
This list was obtained from the “Old Farmers Almanac” and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate