How to reduce potassium levels in soil

Written by mason howard
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How to reduce potassium levels in soil
Balanced soils lead to fruitful harvests. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Healthy levels of potassium in the soil has many benefits, including aiding protein synthesis, stimulating root growth and neutralising acids. A bit too much potassium in garden soil is not typically a problem for most plants, but in high excess, potassium can cause problems. One major problem is the inhibition of calcium. Common causes of exorbitant potassium levels include over-fertilising and a large number of rocks and minerals in the soil. Correct a potassium problem by draining and filtering the soil or by switching fertiliser types.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Soil sifter
  • 0-potassium or organic fertiliser
  • Crushed eggshells, crushed seashells, wood ash, or soft rock phosphate
  • Compost

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Loosen the soil deeply with a shovel, and water thoroughly to dissolve water-soluble potassium. Allow the soil to fully dry, and repeat digging and watering the soil two or three more times.

  2. 2

    Sift through the soil, and remove as many rocks as possible, using a soil sifter. Minerals occurring in rocks such as mica and feldspar slowly release potassium into the soil slowly through weathering.

  3. 3

    Stop applying potassium-rich commercial fertiliser. Apply only commercial fertiliser that has a '0' in the final number field. Commercial fertilisers use a three number system for measuring levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The last number stands for potassium. Another option is to stop using commercial fertilisers all together and to begin using only organic matter to enrich the soil.

  4. 4

    Mix crushed eggshells, crushed seashells, wood ash or soft rock phosphate to the soil to add calcium. Mix in up to 10 per cent of organic compost to help amend and balance the soil.

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