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Question: Soil chemistry and acidification

Mike the Tree Doctor mlamana at bestweb.net
Sun Dec 31 11:40:38 EST 2000


Folks:

This is basically a soil chemistry question....

I am ruminating the effects of installing an irrigation acidification system
for use on about 100 acres of botanical garden that is dominated by  native
species from all over the eastern half of the US. The soil is calcareous in
origin and silty (though very sticky when wet), has pH of about 6.8 (though
it is quite a matrix of mixed soils, outside fills, and older, weathered
materials), and the ratio of Mg : Ca hovers around 17% : 63% of total base
saturation.  Our water has a pH of ca. 6.5  with a lot of carbonates
dissolved.

The system we were contemplating would inject acid into our irrigation
waters and then spray out onto the plants and soils. We intend on trying 93%
sulfuric to buffer down to pH of about 6.0 - 6.2.

The goal of the treatment is to increase the mobility of Mg, B, Fe, and Zn,
and thus favor those species that have affinities to more acidic environs
than we presently offer.

Any thoughts re: the aftermath of washing the soils with such a solution or
of the effects of all of the sulfate it would supply? Will I wash a lot of
Mg out of the soil? What about Potassium deficiency??

Thanks in advance to all!!

Mike the Tree Doctor
email:mike at treedoctorsdot dashcom (replace dot dash with a period)
www.treedoctors.com







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