How to Make Your Soil Acidic

Updated March 28, 2018

Several plants, such as blueberries and rhododendrons, require acidic soil. Others require alkaline soil, such as clematis. For a soil to be considered acidic, it must have a pH (potential hydrogen ions) below 7. For it to be considered alkaline, it must have a pH above 7. Soil can be tested easily with kits from your local garden store or nursery. Once you discover your soil's pH, you can adjust the pH accordingly depending upon the type of plant you wish to grow.

Mix 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 gallon of water in your watering can. Water your plants at least twice a day with this solution.

Mix in peat moss with the soil in your garden before planting. To mix, simply add the moss on top of the soil and mix it with your hands. No tools are necessary. You may also add 1 to 2 inches of peat moss to the top of your soil around your plants. This way, it will naturally dissolve into your soil.

Add sawdust or wood chips on top of the soil around your plants. Apply as much as you feel comfortable with. Some experts suggest up to 3 inches, while others deem that excessive.

Mix in composted leaves with the soil in your garden before planting. Similar to the peat moss, use your hands to mix the composted leaves in with the soil. No tools are necessary.


The best way to adjust your garden's pH is over time. If possible, plan a season ahead and begin to prepare your soil ahead of time.


While working with sawdust or wood chips, you may want to wear a simple breathing mask to avoid inhaling any particles. All substances here are organic. However, if any are ingested and the individual becomes ill, take him to a doctor or call you local poison control centre.

Things You'll Need

  • Sawdust or wood chips
  • Peat moss
  • Composted leaves
  • Watering can
  • Vinegar
  • Water
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About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.