Soil with a low pH is not always a desired soil type. For those planting vegetables or berries, acid soil is absent of many of the nutrients necessary for healthy growth. Furthermore, acidic soil tends to have a higher amount of weeds and insects present, as the environment is favorable to them. Thankfully, there are many fertilizers that help raise a soil's pH. When attempting to raise a soil's overall pH, keep in mind that it is a slow process and will usually take at least two growing seasons.
Limestone is a naturally alkaline substance that can be tilled into the soil and then watered in for further dissolving. Limestone is the strongest recommended alkaline fertilizer, so it is vital to read the instructions carefully and use only the exact amounts required. Lime also has the added advantage of replacing lost calcium and phosphorus, minerals that acid soil cannot sustain.
Tree bark is an excellent organic fertilizer to increase a soil's pH. Tree bark can be found at all nursery centers. To mix bark into the soil, first dig a three-foot hole in the desired area and layer the bark with the natural soil. Bark will take at least two growing seasons to reflect its full impact on the soil, but the results are more favorable and less shocking to soil than lime.
Mosses incorporate faster than bark but are more gentle than lime. Moss can be purchased in bulk quantities at most garden shops, especially organic specialty shops. Moss is easily incorporated into the soil with some basic tilling. Ideally the moss should be tilled into at least the first foot of the soil, and then the soil watered well to encourage further blending. Moss is an excellent fertilizer for also adding phytohormones into the soil, which encourages faster growth of plants.
A classic edition to any compost heap, grass clippings are excellent for neutralizing the pH of garden soil. Best of all, grass clippings are free to those with an existing lawn. For the best and fastest result, pour fresh grass clippings over the soil and incorporate into at least two feet.