How to Make a Compost More Acidic


Compost is a rewarding process that can be done at home easily, benefiting your landscape, the environment and your wallet. The key to composting is to keep the four main elements balanced: water, air, carbon, nitrogen. When compost piles are younger, they tend to be more acidic; when they are older, they are more alkaline. Depending on the plants you are using the compost on, you might need more acidic or alkaline soil. There are some tips to raise the acidic level in your compost, making it more beneficial for acid-loving plants.

Step 1

Use a pH testing kit to test the soil. Follow the directions exactly, but usually you moisten the pH strip in the compost, then compare it to the color chart on the kit. A pH level under 7.0 is acidic. If the pH is over 7.0, you can take steps to lower the pH, or rather raise the acidity.

Step 2

Add some fruit waste to the compost to help raise the acidity. This includes fruit cores, peelings, scraps and rotting fruit.

Step 3

Add some pine needles to the compost from local trees. Use a shovel to mix the fruit and pine needles into the compost pile so it is evenly distributed.

Step 4

Try not to add a lot of deciduous leaf and cuttings because these are more alkaline. Also avoid adding lime or calcium carbonate.

Things You'll Need

  • pH testing kit
  • Fruit
  • Pine needles
  • Shovel


  • Testing Compost pH Levels
  • Composting Tips
  • Caring For Compost Bins
Keywords: making compost, composting tips, acidic compost

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.