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How to Treat Acidic Soils

By G.K. Bayne ; Updated September 21, 2017
Correct pH levels are required for certain plants.
growing plant in soil image by joanna wnuk from Fotolia.com

Soils with a pH of 7.0 are neutral soils. Levels of pH below the neutral reading are acidic in nature. According to Kansas State University, raising the pH level of acidic soils will take time, in some cases a few years. Knowledge of the crops grown in the soil is paramount before you change the pH level. Adding certain organic materials during the year will also affect soil acid levels.

Take soil samples from several locations around the site for testing. Dig holes six to nine inches deep, using a shovel. Remove the soil from this depth at each test hole and place it in a bucket. Mix the soil together. Allow it to dry.

Break the soil surface, using the rototiller for small garden areas or a disc cultivator pulled behind a tractor for large field areas. Working the ground before agricultural lime application is important for thoroughly mixing the agent into the soil.

Apply the recommended amounts of lime based upon the soil test results.

Mix the lime into the soil at a depth greater than six inches with the rototiller or disc cultivator. According to Kansas State University, deep incorporation of the liming agent speeds up the neutralization of the acid soil.

Test the soil every two to three years to monitor the acidic soil condition.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Mechanical cultivation (rototiller, disc cultivator)
  • Agricultural lime (liming agent)


  • Take soil samples to your local agricultural extension service for analysis.