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How to Make a Compost More Acidic

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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

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.

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 Will Need

  • pH testing kit
  • Fruit
  • Pine needles
  • Shovel