Soil pH is the
measurement of hydrogen ions
present in the soil. Keeping hydrogen ions in
balance is so very important to the health and
productivity of the plant.
1. Aglime is NOT the best way to balance pH
Aglime is the most common
way to compensate for a lack of available calcium in
the soil and thereby correct low soil pH.
However, it can create a number of problems.
Surface lime applications only correct pH in the topsoil.
When roots extend
into the subsoil, low pH can hinder nutrient uptake.
It can get expensive to apply the full amount of lime called
for by soil tests.
For most lime applications, it takes 3 years for the lime to be
fully released into the soil, which can lead to over-application.
Over-application of lime can create long-term problems in the soil
that can be difficult to correct.
2. Balancing the soil IS the key
To really understand the best way to
correct soil pH, we have to take a closer look
at what is happening in the soil.
The term "pH" stands for
"potential hydrogen", or the amount of hydrogen
ions in the soil. To balance soil pH, it is
important not just to balance available calcium,
but to bring balance to other minerals in the
a. Soils have enough
In fact, the real problem
with most soils isn't that the soil doesn't have
enough calcium, since most soils have an
abundance of calcium. The real problem is that
the calcium in the soil is not available, just
like so many other nutrients in the soil are not
What we really need is a
way to bring balance to all the minerals in the
soil. When we do this, potential hydrogen comes
into balance as well.
b. Aerobic bacteria are
GroPal Balance contains
70 very special species of aerobic bacteria,
plus fungi, including mycorrhizal fungi.
However, GroPal Balance isn't a biological. It
is a bio-stimulant, a food source to help our
wonderful microbes colonize the soil.
When our microbes
colonize the soil, they go to work
creating the perfect home for themselves.
Our bacteria create air spaces in the soil (they are "aerobic" bacteria,
they need oxygen to survive, so they flocculate the soil). These air
spaces also efficiently store moisture when it is available,
moisture needed by the microbes.
Our bacteria create a mineral balance in the soil (they free up minerals in
the soil to create a perfect mineral balance. Plants feed them
sugars in exchange for this service, which is how our bacteria "make their
Our bacteria create a moist soil (our bacteria actually manufacture
in their life process, much like we do (that is why when we breathe
out it fogs our eye glasses). Both microbes and plants need this moisture to survive,
so it is a win-win arrangement)
Our bacteria create a pathogen free soil (they are anion in nature, which
creates a hostile environment for their adversaries, the pathogens)
Our bacteria create a low saline soil (they remediate salts, which then
protects them from a high-saline environment).
When our microbes balance the nutrients in the
soil, pH is balanced along with all the other
minerals. It doesn't matter if the pH was high
or low, when all the minerals in the soil come
into balance, pH comes into balance as well.
c. Balancing pH deep in
Surface lime applications only correct pH on the
surface layer of the soil. But when microbes do
the balancing, they extend their work deeper and
deeper into the soil, bringing balance to the
minerals in the soil as they do!
it is important to maintain neutral soil pH
Problems caused by High
High soil pH is a problem
experienced in many arid regions where there
isn't enough rainfall to leach calcium and other
basic materials from the soil. High pH irrigation water
can add to the problem.
The main problem with high
pH soils is that the alkalinity can severely
limit plant growth. As soil pH increases over
7.5, the ability of certain nutrients to be
dissolved and utilized by the plant decreases.
in high pH soils, iron,
boron, zinc, manganese, copper and phosphorus
become largely unavailable to the plant. High
calcium levels that are common in high pH soil
makes it difficult for the plant to take in
magnesium and potassium, even when there is no
deficiency of these in the soil.
To make the situation even
worse, alkaline soils can also hinder
micronutrient uptake by the plant. The resulting
deficiency can cause stunted plant growth.
Typically, even sulfur
applications can take a long time to lower soil
Problems caused by Low
Similar to high pH soils,
the greatest problem caused by low pH soils is
nutrient uptake. In very acidic soils,
phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, sulfur,
manganese and calcium become tied up in the soil
and are not as available to the plant, in spite
of the application
of fertilizers. The
usually results in less plant growth.
Microbial activity is
decreased and legumes will not nodulate as well.
Although the soil is inoculated with rhizobia
bacteria, these will not thrive in an acidic
soil, causing legumes to vanish from the soil.
applications can increase the problem of low
soil pH. Excess nitrogen tends to leach from the
soil, leaving behind hydrogen ions the increase
Acidic soil gives the roots
less access to nutrients and water. As pH drops,
aluminum becomes more soluble. Aluminum
diminishes the growth of roots, which decreases
the nutrients available to the plant. This will
reduce plant size and size of the grain.
We believe it is so much better to restore
balance to all the minerals in the soil, thereby
increasing available calcium as well, and
balancing soil pH.
But does it really work? Yes, it does!
Elaine took soil samples the middle of May,
applied GroPal Balance the end of June, then
took soil samples again in November. Her goal
was to reduce compaction and balance soil pH.
After just 5 months, her probe went down 5 or 6
inches in the GroPal Balance fields, but not at
all in the control field. She was excited about
But then when her soil tests came back, she was
even more excited. She had used Hi-Cal lime from
2012 to 2014, but no lime in 2015. Then in 2016
she decided to use GroPal Balance instead of
Take a look at the before and after soil
for 2 fields.
In just 5 months, not only did the pH go to 7.0,
but most other minerals had already come into
balance as well (it takes GPB about 2 years
(with a 1 to 2 quart application per year) to
complete its task of restoring balance to the