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 soil, too.
a. Soils have enough calcium
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 available.
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 the answer
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
Our bacteria create a moist soil (our
bacteria actually manufactureH20
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
Our bacteria create a pathogen free soil
(they are anion in nature, which creates a
hostile environment for their adversaries,
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 the soil
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!
3. Why it is important to maintain neutral soil
Problems caused by High soil pH
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 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
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 pH.
Problems caused by Low soil pH
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
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.
Ammonium nitrate applications can increase the
problem of low soil pH. Excess nitrogen tends to
leach from the soil, leaving behind hydrogen
ions the increase soil acidity.
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 lookat
the before and after soil laboratory tests 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