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Alkaline Soil

Last updated: January 23, 2017

What Does Alkaline Soil Mean?

Alkaline soil is any soil that falls above 7 on the pH scale - the unit of measure for acidic versus alkaline soil. The pH scale is a numeric system between 0 and 14 used to test the acidity or alkalinity of soil with a measurement of 7 being completely neutral.

Soils with a high pH tend to contain higher levels of sodium, calcium and magnesium. The availability of nutrients is often limited and plants can become stunted in alkaline soils because they’re not as soluble as acidic soils.

Alkaline soil may also be known as sweet soil.

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Maximum Yield Explains Alkaline Soil

Knowing the pH of the soil is important. Periodic testing of both the topsoil and subsoil with a pH testing kit purchased from a hardware or garden store will give an accurate measurement of the alkalinity.

Alkaline soil can occur naturally in places with little rainfall. For example, the sandy soil of deserts is alkaline. Dense forests, peat bogs and soil high in certain minerals are high alkaline soils. Hard water that includes lime can also raise the pH of soil to alkaline levels.

Most often lime or peat moss is added to the soil to increase the alkalinity of soil.

Some plants, such as lilies, geraniums and maiden hair fern thrive in alkaline soil.

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Synonyms

Sweet Soil

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