What is the Fastest Way to Lower pH in Soil?

For growing crops or plants the soil plays the most vital role.  Adjusting the soil pH is mandatory if it is high or lower then the recommended level.

Now, when it comes to lowering soil pH, most of the widely used methods are insufficient to produce faster results. But, there are several techniques that are fast. Although, as like others these techniques have limitations and drawbacks.

Some of those are recommended for containers or small areas, while others for the larger areas.

Here,  In this article, I have tried to explain the fastest way of lowering the pH in the soil.

Methods You Can Use to Lower pH in Soil:

pH is the measurement of determining how acidic or basis a matter is.

In fact, pH level comes with a range of 0 to 14. Acidic matters come with lower pH, and alkaline matters come with higher pH. Again, when the pH level is near 7, it means neutral substance.

In gardening and horticulture, you must have to ensure the proper pH level of the soil. Depending on which kind of plants you growing. In fact, most of the plans love neutral pH level of the soil (a pH of about 6-7.5).

However, there are some plants that need a lower pH in the soil. (For example, plants like marigolds, azalea, marigolds, blueberries, potatoes or peppers).

Also, many plants like to grow up in high alkaline soil. You can visit our article on the soil pH chart for Vegetables to learn what you can grow on your farm or backyard.

Consequently, the pH of the soil has a great impact on the health and growth of the plant. Therefore, if you are a conscious gardener, then you should learn about soil pH management.

Once you’ve decided to make your garden’s soil acidic, you should take necessary steps and perhaps practice the fastest way to lower pH in the soil.

Now, let’s learn about how to lower ph in soil fast…

Adding Organic Matter (Slow but Steady)

As you want to reduce basic soil, you have to think about acid to add to your soil. Accordingly, you should try some tricks like adding compost or adding something like alfalfa meal in order to upgrade the nitrogen level of the soil.

If the nitrogen level of your soil improves, there will be a major decrease in the soil pH. But eventually, applying organic matters is not a rapid way to lower soil pH.

Using Sulfur (Not Recommended For Faster Conversion)

Gardeners often add sulfur to lower the pH scale of their garden’s soil. Although, Sulfur may take more than 6 months to transfer into sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid can reduce the pH level quickly.

Another important thing about Sulfur is that it just works while in the summer season. (As bacterial activities are lively while summer). Thus, adding sulfur is a little longer though. It may take 7-8 months to work out by this process.

Indeed, elemental sulfur is one of the most convincing items for reducing the pH level of high-density soil. For example, elemental sulfate works great for a heavy clay material. Plus, you can add organic components like manure into heavy clay soils. By adding the manure, your soil will be lower gradually.

Since it takes a long time span, you should input element sulfur after the last planting season. Thus, sulfur can be a handy substance for reducing the pH levels.

Why Suler is not Recommended for Faster Conversion?

Aluminum sulfate and Sulfur common substances used for lowering pH levels. However, Aluminum sulfate will act instantly. But, only when they dissolve in the soil.

On the other hand,  The dissolving process sulfur (conversion to sulfuric acid by the help of earth bacteria) may take time as it is dependent on several factors. They are:-

  1.  Fineness of the sulfur,
  2. Soil Moisture,
  3. Soil temperature,
  4. Presence of the bacteria.


This conversion may take several months. So, Aluminum sulfate, Ferrous sulfate, and Iron Sulfate is more successful for lowering soil ph fast.


What’s the Quickest Method of Reducing pH Levels in Soil?

Although there are many ways that you can make the soil acidic very fast, but some methods might be over-reactive for lowering the pH level. This extreme acidity may be harmful rather than working well. So, you should be careful while applying such methods.

Here are some methods you can take to reduce the pH level in a faster way. But, remember as the given steps are very rapid and have the power to lower pH level marginally.

Adding Used Coffee Grounds (Best Solution to Lower Soil pH of Containers):

Coffee grounds can lower soil pH very rapidly. As coffee contains water-soluble organic acids, it has the power to lower the pH level. However, manipulated coffee grounds come with a pH of 6.8.

That is, almost the same pH level or neutral water. So, there won’t be rapid action, yet used coffee ground can add nitrogen which helps lowering pH over time.

On the other hand, newly ground coffee comes with a pH of near about 4.5 level. Therefore, while you want a more rapid process, then you can use the method of watering your ground with diluted 50-50 cold coffee with water.

Particularly, this procedure sports great for comparatively small areas of soil. For example, you can use the method for houseplants or container vegetables.


Managing a large amount of used coffee ground is somewhat impossible for me. I have tried it with the garden soil as the soil mix for Phalaenopsis orchids, which turns out to be going well. But there are some minor issues.

But, overall they are good, If you can I will suggest using it. As is an organic method to lower soil pH.

Using Vinegar (Organic Method to Lower Soil pH of Small Area Fast):

Usually, we use vinegar for our cooking purpose. However, vinegar might be used in the garden as well. Actually, vinegar has a great power to change the pH of soil.

As it is an acidic substance, it turns your soil into acidity. By adding vinegar at proper proportions, you can make the soil more acidic. Pour 1 cup vinegar in 3.8-liter water. Spread this solution in the soil.

Note: Don’t use vinegar if your garden has a bigger land area.

Although it is an effective way for smaller areas of land. This is why many gardeners tend to use coffee to their soil for an effective pH-lowering effect.

You can find lots of vintage soil for your garden. Particularly I can suggest Calyptus 45% Pure Vinegar and 30% Vinegar Pure Natural & Safe.

Applying Aluminum Sulfate (The Peoples Choice):

If you want a true rapid pH-lowering method, then Aluminum sulfate can be a worthy product for you. Instead of relying on the slow organic components, you should use acidic soil additives.

That is to say, aluminum sulfate is one of the most active matters in pH lowering project. Once it dissolves in the soil, its acidity starts to happen.

As you like an instant solution, there is no alternative to using Aluminum sulfate. Then, a question may arise that how much aluminum sulfate you should use.

It depends on which pH your soil avails from starting.

Usually, you can effort using half kg of aluminum sulfate for a 10-square foot volume of soil.

Note: Excessive use of this additive might be unsafe for your plant. So, be calculative before using such kind of materials.

Hence, never overuse or add aluminum sulfate for large applications. Because the additive may drive the soil into aluminum toxicity. Thus, aluminum sulfate is one best substance for faster pH lowering.

Now, there are many commercial solutions for this, among them, you can use Southern Ag Aluminum Sulfate as a synthetic or Aluminum Sulfate (2 lb.) by Pure Organic Ingredients.

Applying Sulfur-Coated Urea:

As aforementioned earlier, sulfur or aluminum sulfate lower pH marginally. Here are other soil additives named sulfur-coated urea.


It can reduce pH level by high efficiency of acidity. In fact, urea is a proactive and quick-acting additive. Urea starts affecting within one or two weeks.

Luckily, sulfur-coated urea is a familiar element of fertilizers. If you have put fertilizers on your plants, you may consider using the fertilizers that contain sulfur-coated urea.

If you need this fertilizer then Espoma UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier is one of the best organic options for you.

In fact, it is a slow-release fertilizer that supplies nutrients smoothly as the plants require. Overall, by supplying sulfur-coated urea you can acidify your soil rapidly.

Using Iron Sulfate (Expert Recommendation)

Using Iron Sulfate - Sample of Iron rich soilHere’s the ultimate solution. Iron sulfate can acidify your garden’s soil tremendously. In general, it takes only three or four months to work out.

Particularly, Iron sulfate works best for heavily compacted soil with a high clay content. Another good thing about this matter is that it doesn’t depend much on temperature conditions.

If you plan to plant acid-loving plants, then just use Iron sulfate without hesitation.

For every 100 square feet volume of soil, you have to drop 5kgs of iron sulfate.

However, while you need to put more additive, then you had better divide the total quantity into two portions. And add them in the soil twice a month. In this way, the soil will get time to grab the additive.

This is all about what you wanted to know about lowering pH in the soil. No doubt, it is such a crying need for your garden.

While you like to grow plants in your garden, you have to keep in mind that there are many plants that don’t tolerate higher pH. Many plants can not live in alkaline or basic soil.

Consequently, it’s a must for you then to reduce the soil’s pH.

Now, I have tasted Hi-Yield 32340 Iron Sulfate, it is one of the best solution for lowering soil pH.

We’ve shown some handy ways as you can do the trick by yourself. However, if you don’t feel free to effort these aforementioned methods by yourself, then you can appoint an agriculture expert for your project

But at the end of the day, he will do what we have mentioned earlier. You can proceed by own self then!

Let’s Wrap Up!

After all, I’d recommend you do first a test for measuring the pH level of your soil. For this, you can undertake a testing kit experiment.

However, it would be more convenient to test the soil by local agricultural analysts. As soon as you know the result, then you should go upstage like adding different matters.

If you have a plan for the lower area, then coffee or vinegar is a good choice.

But if your garden area is larger, it is better to use elemental sulfur or Aluminium sulfate, Iron sulfate for faster support.

In words, Iron sulfate is the fastest way to lower the pH level of the soil.

Thanks for reaching so far. I hope you are now ready with your soil pH management project.

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