An accurate soil test will indicate your soil's pH level will specify the amount of lime or sulfur that is needed to bring it up or down to the appropriate level. It’s well worth taking the time to reduce your soil acidity to get the lushest, healthiest lawn you can. by increasing the soil temperature during the curing period. Increasing the Soil pH. But if you don’t extend the downspout 5 to 10 feet away from the house, you’ll dump water on your foundation. Worm castings act as a soil conditioner and can be added in large quantities to your. Contamination of Water and Soil by Sewage and Water Treatment Sludge. Erosion Prediction - Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is an easily and widely used computer program that estimates rates of soil erosion caused by rainfall and associated overland flow. The best time to test soil is in the spring, before you add any compost or other amendments, although you can test soil any time. What is the ideal ph for compost tea being used outdoors in soil. The analysis should include total coliform bacteria and chemical parameters useful to both health and safety, and general water quality (nitrates, hardness, iron, etc. The commercial pH DOWN products all contain potent nitric or phosphoric acid that raise the salt level in soil and can burn your plants. So why is a soil considered an acidic? Well, it is defined by pH. You still need to watch the runoff, and if it's out of whack, you gotta adjust the soil itself, ex with dolomite lime. i mean it still could be cal def so when i watered today i just water with plain ph'ed water and 2 tsp of Mag-i-cal. As with any plant problem, the first thing you should do is check that the pH is appropriate for the plant ‑ usually close to neutral. It doesn't exactly lower soil pH, what it does is buffer the pH making the soil function as if it had a lower pH. 0 representing neutral soil i. If you need to add more than 40-pounds of lime per 1,000-square feet to correct your pH, do it in two or more applications. Tomatoes like their soil pH around 6. If a high or alkaline pH is causing problems in your garden, here's how to fix it. Take 20 mL of your soil and place it in the bottom of a plastic cup. Put in it a little soil and/or sand, some stones, some protozoa, algae, aquatic plants, some animals like waters snails or tiny crustaceans like water fleas, little shrimp, and fill with water leaving some air. I’m a little confused, because I sent my soil sample out to be tested by the University of Florida for pH and questioned what was the method of action with the lime that allows for the pH to become more alkalotic and they responded that it’s actually the “carbonate” portion of the Calcium Carbonate in lime that is what helps to neutralize the acidity and not the Ca. S Environmental Protection Agency through research and analysis and discussions with the users of the engineered systems presented in this guide. When the pH is 6. Typically a soil's pH can range from 4. Obviously, if you stray too far from the 5. The logarithmic measure of the acid-alkaline balance in water or soil is called pH. Here are some tips on how to prepare garden soil for tomatoes. So, you should always measure the pH of your soil, to ensure that it is not too acidic. there is a reason why your ph is coming out almost a full 1. Be"certain"your"soil"pHisin"the"optimal"range. You'll see results in the soil pH after about three months. 5) are common in many areas of blueberry production. Toxicity of these herbicides increases as pH decreases. Buffering capacity refers a soil’s tendency to resist change in pH. if you think feeding. Reducing soil pH to an acceptable level can take many years and much patience, so planting alkaline-tolerant trees, shrubs, and other plants is another approach. You will also need to work the lime or sulfur at least 6 inches into the soil for the best and quickest results. If too much sulfur is added, or if it is added too frequently, it can actually injure or kill your plants. Cannabis & Water Quality Part 1: pH. If you want to have a successful garden, you need to have good soil PH which is why a soil tester is a wise investment for your outdoor area. The first step necessary to make your own soil pH testing kit is to gather all the equipment needed for the process. A sign that a flush may be needed is yellowing at the tips of your leaves or a white ring around your soil from the water evaporating and the salts being left behind. Lowering the soil pH is a slow process that may take years. Nutrients cause excessive plant and algae growth in lakes and streams. Keep in mind that you should only do so if a soil test determines that your lawn soil is acidic: Liming when not necessary can lead to alkaline soil. Even though my pH is quite high, because of the fertility of the soil my garden production has been acceptable. Work must be done to be at a balance: N,P and K along with trace minerals and organic material all in the right proportions working together is more important than concentrating on only one aspect. We'll explain the differences between test kits and teach you everything you need to know to learn about your soil's fertility level!. The three different types of soil are clay, silt, sand. You can and should reuse the soil. PH test 7 To 7. soil is too acidic. run off should always be as close to what went in. It can take a while and is pretty tedious but that's my opinion. I've been told that, if growing in soil, pH adjustment of fertilizer and water isn't needed, since the soil acts as a pH buffer. If your soil is below 250 ppm K, based on nitric acid extraction, your crop might benefit from potassium. For several reasons the pH has a profound effect on the cannabis plants. Decomposing pine needles can decrease pH. in one of my plants and it looks like cal def but then i tested the run off and it was around 5ish which is alil low for soil. No one has confirmed if those runoff pH values are normal. Before shopping for soil amendments, do a quick soil test of your native soil using a simple pH test kit. You are only reading the results of what the water and nutrient ph is; not what the actual ph of the soil itself is. After spreading lime, water the lawn to wash the particles off the grass leaves and into the soil. fertilizer program should be revised should be revised should be revised Table 7-2. Gerard Govers. A substance that has a pH of seven is called neutral. These spots occur often where the ground cannot hold any more water so it’s pushed to the surface where it puddles. Precipitation in an urban or suburban area that does not evaporate or soak into the ground but instead runs across the land and into the nearest waterway is considered stormwater runoff. proper disposal of concrete and cement-based products is your responsibility. Drywells, French Drains, Seepage Pits to Dispose of Roof Runoff. 0 after the 24 soak. If you live in the Southwest and your soil is strongly alkaline, you won't be able to lower the pH enough to grow azaleas, which thrive in acidic soil. What is Soil pH? It is a measure of the number of H+ ions in the soil water. The soil you use for your succulent is just as important as the frequency of your watering. , soil quality varies greatly from house to house and even within the same yard. In either case, once the protective vegetative cover is gone, erosion occurs at a faster pace. One of the things that really can help this situation is organic matter, ideally compost. soil should be maintained in as healthy a condition as possible. Before you plant, you need to prepare the soil. Plant tissueand soil analyses should be used together to. Be"certain"your"soil"pHisin"the"optimal"range. When lime is added to a soil, active acidity is neutralized by chemical reactions that remove hydrogen ions from the soil solution. This Soil pH Guide gives a range of soil pH values recommended for many plant varieties. In general, more NH 3 and greater toxicity exist at higher pH. The biggest mistake new growers make is to try and correct pH problems too quickly. A lower TDS value means the water is safe to drink but not pure and healthy for your body. each item within the. As you probably already know, calcium deficiency in the soil, for instance, can cause some major problems to your plants, so it is a good idea to test your soil from time to time to make sure everything is alright. its to set the final ph of the medium when we add multiple items to it. Try the Soil Savvy Test Kit , also available on Amazon. Maintaining the correct pH level for your soil is an ongoing task, especially in the naturally acidic soils of the East and the Northwest, where rainfall leaches out calcium and other alkaline-forming elements. 3 range, the plants will die. On land, these hitchhikers help us grow crops and have nice lawns, but in runoff they sicken streams, rivers, lakes and bays. ) Aerating hard soil. Garden centers sell home pH testers that are adequate for determining your soil's pH level, if you don't want to send it out for testing. This soil guide outlines the basics about horticultural potting soil and what you need to know about your Mandala plants (or cannabis in general) and soil in order to make the right choice*. Testing your soil will let you know if you need to make adjustments to your soil pH and the best types of grass for your soil. Various plants live under different pH levels, they have adapted to this. Make sure you have the best possible environment for your plantings by checking your soil's pH. pH should be maintained at above 5. The goal of this simulation is to simulate the effect of rainfall on different soil types. Indeed, the entire process of growing plants is a study in the physical dance of pH balance. Families can use meter readings as a challenge to reduce water use. Many forces influence the pH level in your growing medium: your soil, water, and even the plant itself can change the pH in your grow. Solving drainage problems in turf, tree and landscape plantings is not a difficult task if you understand the underlying cause of the problem and you are able to redirect the excess water to a lower area such as a drainage ditch, dry well or catch basin. there is a reason why your ph is coming out almost a full 1. As CO2 concentration increases, the pH level decreases. You can buy extenders from plain ($15) to fancy ($30). 5 is ten times more acid than a soil with a pH 6. Lowering Soil pH and the Hydrangea. The pH of most inland fresh waters containing fish ranges from about 6 to 9 (Ellis 1937), with most waters, particularly those with healthy, diverse, and productive fish and macroinvertebrates communities having a pH between approximately 6. I use propagation cubes and 3x3" blocks. 1 to learn the directions on how to receive a free pH soil test. Losses through these events normally don’t account for a large portion of the soil N budget, but should be considered for surface water quality issues. What is infiltration? 4. No, you don't often hear your local news. T here are two things a soil testing can help you learn about your lawn. Your plant will be overwatered but itll recover. Are you glad I cleared that up for you? Or is it just about as clear as mud? For us lay people it's enough to know that Soil pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline our soil is. I would also like to add that certain types of plants could act as natural insect repellents. 5, growing pot in coco outside of that pH range will cause nutrient problems. Always take a small amount of soil and do a soak test before planting anything. “Polluted runoff is created by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. Ideally, your cannabis soil will be slightly acidic. So What Constitutes An Effective Rain Event? Larry Stein, Ph. You can improve your soil with a host of Florida-friendly organic amendments, such as compost, manure, or even worm castings. It has been my experience that the EC should be watched closely as it washes from the media. This will ensure that the sulfur applied is having the desired effect on soil pH. Then seal the container. The water company in your area should have directions on how to read a water meter. 5 might result in reduced yields and damages to the crop. Generally, during the summer months in the upper portion of a productive or eutrophic lake, pH will range between 7. To determine your soil's pH, bring a soil sample to your county Extension office for a soil test. 0), or high/lime pH (above 7. Plants tend to grow best in soil with a pH between 6 and 7, but certain edibles and grass species prefer more extreme levels. 5pH of your watering pH. Then perform the pH test on the runoff and compareit too your initial test. When it rains, the rain can cause erosion, pick up nutrients and chemicals, and run off into our waterways. If answer to number 4 is YES should I try to lower PH to 5. The first thing you should do is test the pH of the existing soil in your outdoor grow. Why should you monitor your pH? Once the pH level is adjusted for the plants you are growing, do not put it out of your mind. Record the pH values in your lab notebook, adding the data to your data table and being sure to note which values correspond to which soil samples. Hence, there will be a little increase in pH. I strongly recommend measuring two things in your water stream: PPM and pH. These areas protect water quality, hold soil in place, slow runoff, provide an area where runoff can permeate the soil, contribute to groundwater recharge, and filter sediment. 0roots cannot absorb nutrients on a too high or too low pH levels. Tropical Florida soils tend to be composed of sand and limestone aggregates. Like all science experiments, you must make sure they are done properly to prevent errors. Test results will indicate your soil's current pH and nutrient content and will tell you what to add to achieve the correct pH and nutrient levels. A level of pH of 7 is neutral and a pH of 14 is the most alkaline solution. Compost can effectively move your pH down a point without having any negative effect on the living soil community. Clay soil is composed of tiny particles that are hard and able to become easily compacted. Adding a soil amendment that has a pH of around 7 will not affect the soil pH. A lot of gardeners have trouble with the pH of their soil. Sandy loam usually is around neutral pH and affords good water drainage, root permeability and adequate nutrition. Find out the best soil test kit for your needs with our helpful buyer's guide. Ideally mix the lime into your soil and turf underlay prior to laying your turf. The biggest mistake new growers make is to try and correct pH problems too quickly. L et’s face it; soil preparation is the most important step in building a good lawn. Are you glad I cleared that up for you? Or is it just about as clear as mud? For us lay people it's enough to know that Soil pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline our soil is. Carbon dioxide can enter water bodies from a variety of sources including the atmosphere, runoff from land, release from bacteria in the water and respiration by aquatic organisms. Either in soil or inert substrates, adjusting the pH value is very important for our plants to properly assimilate nutrients, so it is something that every grower should know about. Some pesticides are more toxic to soil organisms than others. To test the infiltration of your soil, dig a hole 6-8 in deep in the area that the rain garden will be located. there is a reason why your ph is coming out almost a full 1. 02 M CaCl2 to the soil suspension that was prepared for the water pH, the final soil-solution ratio is 1:2 0. Soil acidity - frequently asked questions (FAQS) Page last updated: Monday, 17 September 2018 - 10:25am In this section you will find answers to commonly asked questions from Western Australian growers and consultants about lime, liming and soil and pH testing, as well as links to other useful information that may help to answer any other. No sludge should be applied at any site where the soil concentration of any of the parameters mentioned in Section 5. 5 pH, it means you should water your plants at the high end of your desired pH range. 0 to keep it from rising further. This enhances aeration, while keeping the soil moist, but not soggy. This publication explains soil pH and provides strategies for Master Gardeners and homeowners to make the most of the pH in the home landscape or garden. soil should be maintained in as healthy a condition as possible. No, you don't often hear your local news. It doesn't exactly lower soil pH, what it does is buffer the pH making the soil function as if it had a lower pH. If irrigation water is suspected or known to deliver significant amounts of lime salts and/or soluble salts, soil samples should be collected more frequently to better monitor soil pH, salinity and cation balance. Soil pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14 with a measurement of 7. The biggest mistake new growers make is to try and correct pH problems too quickly. Soil pH is the measure of the soil’s acidity or alkalinity. If yarrow is suddenly springing up in your yard, it may be a sign of deteriorating soil quality, especially if it’s showing up with both dandelion, clover, mullein, or plantain. Obviously, if you stray too far from the 5. Soil pH below 5. 0 is neutral. Posted | 1 comment. Excess sodium in soil gets taken up by plant roots and can cause serious vitality problems in your. 5 pH ideally. If you have Sandy soil, the water and nutrients will run through the soil very quickly and the plants […]. Perimeter Runoff Control – This is the practice of planting trees, shrubs and ground cover around the perimeter of your farmland which impedes surface flows and keeps nutrients in the farmed soil. The common range of soil pH varies from 4. 5 it will be too acid. The best type of soil for flower bulbs is a sandy loam. Some soil amendments also add nutrients to the soil, help retain moisture and help maintain the correct pH balance. Acidity itself is not responsible for restricting plant growth. Open up your Soil Test tablet cannister and find the foil covered tablets labeled "FLOC EX" on one side and "TesTabs" on the other side. If the measurement is above 7. The acid attack. How to test the pH of your soil mix. able guidance for improving your soil. The water company in your area should have directions on how to read a water meter. But the effects may be temporary, and applying too much lime or sulfur can damage your plants. any thoughts??. pH Levels & Liming Your Pond. What should your runoff be? Ideally, within. Measuring runoff by itself is useless without several additional measurements. 5 pH ideally. The biggest mistake new growers make is to try and correct pH problems too quickly. The rain garden fills with a few inches of water after a. If this is the case, a small drop of 0. This will help you determine what needs to be applied to your lawn such as potassium or phosphorus. The perfect PH value for a cannabis plant. 0, some action may be needed to reduce pH. Results are expressed on an elemental basis as ppm P, K, or Zn. Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. The pH scale is graduated from 0 to 14. Lowering Soil pH and the Hydrangea. Soil pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in the soil solution. 5), potatoes (pH 4. Runoff does not accurately represent the pH in the root zone or rhizospere. Key Questions. The appendix at the end of this bulletin lists additional resources. Soil with a serious pH imbalance should be treated with lime or sulfur or some other pH-specific amendment, but for most garden soil problems the amendment of choice is always compost. This soil guide outlines the basics about horticultural potting soil and what you need to know about your Mandala plants (or cannabis in general) and soil in order to make the right choice*. maintenance of your erosion, sediment and runoff control measures on your site. The best and only sure way to know if the soil in your yard lacks sufficient nutrients is to get a soil test from a qualified soil lab. But the greatest injury to crop growth from low pH soils comes not from the H + ions, but from the release of aluminum into the soil solution at low pH levels. Over on preparednessmama. results calibrated for the surface 6-inch depth of soil based on. The soil pH scale is measured from 0-14. For pH outside this range, the availability of nutrients to the plant is greatly affected. 0 are alkaline and below 7. Nutrients cause excessive plant and algae growth in lakes and streams. Understanding the pH level of your soil is one of the most important factors for a successful vegetable gardener. Cannabis plants prefer a slightly acidic environment for its roots. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7. Your crop will survive outside of this range, but the yields will be much smaller. What is capillarity? rain drop infiltrating into soil. Once this trench is excavated, fill it to within 1 inch of the top with large 1 inch washed gravel. The pH of newly formed soils is determined by. If your building site is flat, or worse, at the bottom of a hill, it can be difficult to keep surface runoff away from the building and also tough to dispose of roof runoff or drainage since simply using gravity to send water away from the building won't work. Lowering the soil pH to make it more acidic If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur may be used to lower the pH if it is available. 0, which is very alkaline. Ideally mix the lime into your soil and turf underlay prior to laying your turf. 0, you have an alkaline soil, and changing soil pH may be called for, depending on what you're growing. Give your kitchen garden a little extra love this autumn and see what a difference it makes. (By the way, that's the pH range at which most vegetables grow best. Acidic Soil Types of soil generally found more in the eastern states where there’s a heavier rainfall. soil is too acidic. One of the things that really can help this situation is organic matter, ideally compost. The soil pH scale runs from 1 for pure acid to 14 for pure alkaline, with 7 as the neutral midpoint. You should flush until your runoff PH is above 6 then make sure everything your putting in is between 6-7. However, selected soil backfill material may also be used with satisfactory results, provided it is compacted. Whether it’s taking an antacid to balance the chemical composition of our stomach contents for digestive purposes, or spraying chemicals on surfaces in our home when we clean, we initiate chemical. 0 is neutral; so the range which tomatoes prefer is slightly on the acid side. Why Does Soil Become Acidic? Soils can be very different, but from sandy soil, all the way to clay soil, different types of soil have one thing in common: they become more acidic over time, therefore lowering soil pH. The appendix at the end of this bulletin lists additional resources. testing your runoff is just about the easiest way to test your soil ph. One is microbial growth in the substrate. An Overview of the General Soil pH by Region in the U. Perimeter Runoff Control – This is the practice of planting trees, shrubs and ground cover around the perimeter of your farmland which impedes surface flows and keeps nutrients in the farmed soil. 0 indicates that the soil is acidic, with lower values representing increasing acidity. Soil pH largely determines whether a plant can survive in a specific area. This publication explains soil pH and provides strategies for Master Gardeners and homeowners to make the most of the pH in the home landscape or garden. Having a basic understanding of soil amendments and plant nutrition, specifically pertaining to soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, will make the soil sample process much less. We till in top soil & mulch to help our garden plants, but. neither acidic nor alkaline. Soil pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in the soil solution. 0, which is equivalent to pure water. pH between 7 and 8 – your soil is very alkaline. If test results indicate that an adjustment to the pH is necessary, most labs will make a recommendation for how much lime to add to the soil to achieve a certain pH (if that desired pH level is not. Hydroponic growers can check the pH of their water by testing a small sample from their water reservoir a few minutes later. Alkali, or Alkaline, soils are clay soils with high pH (> 8. When a laboratory measures your soil's pH it is important that they specify which method (water or calcium chloride) was used. Fertilizer products contain different amounts of nutrients and individual products should be targeted for speciic turfgrass needs. How much LIME to raise the Soil PH from 6. There is a natural accumulation of sodium in soil from fertilizers, pesticides, run off from shallow salt-laden waters and the breakdown of minerals which release salt. Swales collect eroded soil—since swales absorb runoff water's kinetic energy, eroded soil falls out of suspension and collects in the swale (instead of leaving your property to clog local streams). Plants tend to grow best in soil with a pH between 6 and 7, but certain edibles and grass species prefer more extreme levels. the runoff, soil erosion will be greatly reduced. If possible, test in the fall so that lime and other soil amendments can alter pH over the winter. If you have thin, discolored turf that does not grow very well, unbalanced pH may be at play. It helps reduce the acidity and restores the soil to a balanced pH if it has been to heavily inundated with the muriatic acid. If however, you find that your soil pH tends to be too low (which would be the argument due to the acidity of the needles), then you can simply add ground limestone to raise the pH. Lime can restore productivity in acid soils and should be considered once the pH drops below pHCa 5. Open up your Soil Test tablet cannister and find the foil covered tablets labeled "FLOC EX" on one side and "TesTabs" on the other side. Soil pH largely determines whether a plant can survive in a specific area. For example, at a pH of 5. If your pH is highly acidic. When to water ? This probably is the most asked question by new growers but the truth is that there isn’t one schedule or one amount of water that will fit any cannabis grow operation. Since tillage fractures the soil, it disrupts soil structure, accelerating surface runoff and soil erosion. Fill the hole with water. Soil sampling has been highlighted as one of the key steps in addressing this issue, and identifying which nutrient is lacking and where they are required. If your soil is too acidic (most common) you can apply agricultural or dolomitic lime, which is readily available where lawn fertilizers are sold. T here are two things a soil testing can help you learn about your lawn. Soils that are overacidified due to sulfur application (soil pH is lower than desired) should be limed to neutralize soil pH to the desired soil pH level. Either buy a Soil pH meter, or measure your runoff and measure and record the starting pH. The first thing you should do is test the pH of the existing soil in your outdoor grow. You should also test for phosphorus and potassium because plants require both of these nutrients in relatively large amounts. A product that decreases Ph (Ph-down) is called an acid while a product that increases Ph (Ph-up) is called a base. Best Soil Test Kit We spent over 37 hours researching and testing 13 different types of soil test kits and found that durable materials, weight, and ease of use were most important. Using third generation soil and its tweekin’. This will ensure that the sulfur applied is having the desired effect on soil pH. Analysis in a laboratory provides the most accurate measurement of soil pH. Soil Structure and Tilth. For example, a soil with a pH of 5. You still need to watch the runoff, and if it's out of whack, you gotta adjust the soil itself, ex with dolomite lime. You should never plant in compost alone, but it should be at least 30-50% of your garden soil, whether you are creating your own soil in raised garden boxes or you’re adding it to your existing soil for in-ground planting. Analysis in a laboratory provides the most accurate measurement of soil pH. SECTION 1 – GENERAL RESOURCE REFERENCES. To raise the pH of acid soil, add ground limestone from a local garden center or hardware store, or wood ashes from a fireplace or. Some pesticides may break down quickly when applied to soils, while others may persist for longer periods. If rain falls on a poorly buffered water source, it can decrease the pH of nearby water through runoff. increase alkalinity). A professional soil test is the most accurate way to find out the pH of your soil. Ideal Ph Levels for Growing Cannabis. Bedding- Pipe should be bedded in gravel. If the soil is too alkaline, it is especially important to lower the soil pH if you're growing acid loving plants. These checks can be done onsite using portable testing meters, or samples can be sent to the University of Massachusetts soil test laboratory. 5 might result in reduced yields and damages to the crop. and confirm that its ph is neutral 7. It can be described as a balanced mixture of clay, sand, silt and a modicum of organic matter. Limestone typically is applied to lawns, gardens, pastures, and croplands to supply calcium, an essential plant nutrient, and to decrease soil acidity. L et’s face it; soil preparation is the most important step in building a good lawn. 0 has a high acid content; a soil pH of 7. pH Levels & Liming Your Pond. By Benedict Vanheems. First of all, we’ll look at what acidity and pH really are. Follow the instructions when. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a. neither acidic nor alkaline. In addition, soil pH has a significant impact on nutrient availability to plant roots. You still need to watch the runoff, and if it's out of whack, you gotta adjust the soil itself, ex with dolomite lime. Effects of tillage on runoff and erosion patterns. This number helps you determine when and how to adjust your garden soil’s pH level. The pH of pure water (water which has little to no ions or other substances dissolved in it) is neutral, pH 7. The pH of a solution may be accurately and easily determined by electrochemical measurements with a device known as a pH meter with a pH (proton)-sensitive electrode (usually glass) and a reference electrode (usually silver chloride or calomel). • A rain garden should reduce runoff, recharge groundwater, and use native plants. Break up and crumble the soil underneath to a depth of 5". The perfect PH value for a cannabis plant. If this is the case, a small drop of 0. Surface runoff (also known as overland flow) is the flow of water that occurs when excess stormwater, meltwater, or other sources flow over the Earth's surface. soil is too acidic. While it’s logical to assume the soil fertility needs to be improved, focusing on the long-term soil health by adding organic matter and building the quality of the soil with lots of organic matter is the best long term solution. BMPs for Spill Response and Prevention. Generalized adequate soil test analysis levels for soils in Hawaii. Soil Testing for Christmas Trees Fertilizing Christmas trees can increase growth rate, tree vigor, foliage color, bud set, branch and foliage density, and needle retention. In order to get the best results, you will want to till the liming material into the soil about two to three months before planting (usually in the fall or winter) so that there is plenty of time for the pH to change. Always take a small amount of soil and do a soak test before planting anything.