Q: I’ve been amending my garden with compost for more than ten years. Soil tests every year show P, K, Mg, Ca, and Zn all in the excellent range. My problem is I can’t get the pH lower than 7.0. I would like to have it down in the 6.0 – 6.5 range but nothing I add seems to work.
A: I think you are overreacting to the soil pH level. It is true that garden plants grow best in a pH of 6.0 – 6.5 but most can easily tolerate a pH of 7.0. At this point, I think it would be good to switch to no-till gardening. It sounds like your garden soil has plenty of organic matter. If that’s the case, you need to allow soil fungi to continue making their tiny, oxygen-filled pores in the soil, which plants love. Tilling destroys this wonderful soil structure. Plant your vegetable seedlings or seeds in small holes you dig in the dirt without causing major soil disturbance.