ADLib Glossary (P)

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pH and Acidification

The pH of a soil or a water body is a way of expressing how acidic or alkaline it is. In the case of soils it is usually measured using a water extract. pH uses a logarithmic scale, where a pH of 7 is neutral, lower values are said to be acid and values above 7 are alkaline. Most agricultural soils (other than peats) are maintained at a pH of between 6.0 and 7.5. Although 5.5 is adequate for grass and some crops, clovers are more sensitive to acid conditions. If clover and other legumes are grown in pure or mixed swards, you should maintain a pH of at least 6.0. Peat soils may be maintained at a rather lower pH than the majority of soils.

Acidification is the change in pH of soil or water by an increase in the hydrogen ion concentrations or by decreasing alkalinity.

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