Homeowner Association Landscaping Maintenance: Keeping the Soil Less Acidic

Healthy soil is the foundation of your property, and allows all of the attractive trees, shrubs, and flowers to thrive.  An important part of Homeowner Association landscaping maintenance involves keeping the soil healthy in the face of different weather conditions, and also ensuring that its chemical composition is optimal.

A common problem in North Carolina is acidic soil, meaning it has a low pH.  The results of a higher-than-normal acidic content in the soil is stunted plant growth: the roots don’t develop as well, the leaves tend to be more shriveled, and the soil itself often lacks in essential nutrients while also possessing a greater amount of various toxic chemicals.  These conditions result in plants that are less attractive and healthy, making your property look more rundown; for instance, they may be less tolerant of drought and more apt to be destroyed by disease and insects.

Some trees and shrubs are more tolerant of acidic soils; these include towering bald cypresses and loblolly pines.  But even then, the soil must undergo other kinds of maintenance to keep it friendly, such as ensuring that it’s well-drained.

In general, you’re going to want to address issues of acidic soil, especially if the pH levels are very low.  It’s important to get the soil tested, and then figure out the best solutions for your particular property.

A common remedy for highly acidic soil is to apply lime; lime will help counteract the acidity in the soil, reduce soil toxicity, and increase nutrient-richness.  However, it’s important that when you apply lime you know exactly how much you should use, otherwise you might cause an imbalance in the opposite direction and raise the pH levels too much.  You would also need to select high-quality lime.

Lime can be applied year-round but is most effective when you add it to the soil some months before you intend to plant.  As such, aim to get your soil tested no later than fall; then, if you see that the pH levels are too low in your soil, you’ll have time to administer lime treatment prior to spring and let it really mix into the soil.

Plant-friendly soil is essential for an attractive property.  Contact us to discuss ways to maintain your soil health, including treating it if it’s too acidic.