How to improve a chalky soil
Lowering the soil pH in a alkaline soil to suit more plants
As simple as it sounds adding acid will lower the soil pH in an alkaline or chalky soil
The acid can come from a number of acidic sources such as
Farm yard manure – ideally well rotted unless the area or flower bed is empty it needs to be well rotted. Fresh manure can burn the roots of any existing plants.
Horse manure – ideally well rotted unless the area or flower bed is empty it needs to be well rotted. Fresh manure can burn the roots of any existing plants.
As well as changing the soil pH it will also add a lot more organic mater to the soil making it more resistant to droughts and able to support plants in dry periods without watering.
With both types of manure its important not to import any weeds that might be growing on and around the manure pile or stack. Ideally taking the manure from the middle of the pile or stack as often the manure will have heated up and killed and existing weeds or weed seeds.
Chemical solutions include flowers of sulphur, sulphur dust or powder, iron sulphate
All these are best dug into the soil and allowed to be washed in by rain or watering takes place
A combination of chemical treatments and manure are ideal with annual treatments and mulches
To a lesser extend using such fertilisers as Growmore annually will also help lower the soil pH