Make garden soil acidic - with these additives it works!

Make garden soil acidic - with these additives it works!

Determine the pH value

The appearance and growth behavior of a plant can be clear signals that the soil is not acidic enough for it. However, you can only be absolutely sure if you determine the pH of the soil.

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  • Fertilize garden soil - use fertilizer as needed
  • Testing the garden soil: does it make sense?

Peat - an obsolete resource

Peat soil lowers the pH of the soil. That's why it was often used in the past when it came to acidifying the garden soil. In the meantime, ecological awareness has grown, which is why the destruction of the moors is no longer accepted.


The pH value of the garden soil can also be lowered with the following means, which are available to us inexpensively or even free of charge and which are also easy to use. That's them:

  • Coniferous earth
  • Special compost
  • Special mulch material
  • Grape marc
  • Iron sulfate and sulfur

Coniferous earth

Soil under conifers has a low pH. If you only want to acidify a small area of ​​the garden soil, you can remove some of the coniferous soil and mix it with the soil.

Special compost

There are special types of compost, the composition of which consists of acid-forming plant materials. Even a pure oak leaf compost provides plenty of acid.


Do not use vinegar, even if this tip is repeatedly touted as promising. Its success is short-lived and it also harms soil organisms.

Special mulch material

Mulching with a mixture of crushed coniferous wood and oak leaves should be mentioned in particular. The approximately 5 cm thick layer is additionally enriched with an organic fertilizer. Horn shavings are ideal for this.


The mixture of coffee grounds and horn shavings also makes the garden soil acidic. Since coffee grounds are not available in unlimited quantities, this mixture is only suitable for small areas.

Grape marc

If you live in a wine region, then try to get hold of grape marc. These are pressed grape residues that arise during winemaking. The natural grape acid it contains makes the soil acidic and at the same time is gentle on the microorganisms in the garden soil.

Iron sulfate and sulfur

Both substances are suitable for compacted soils. But while the sulfur takes effect quickly, the iron sulfate can take many months. It should therefore be applied in the preseason.