I would recommend that you get a professional soil test done at least once for you garden. You will get readings for pH and buffer pH. If your buffer pH is higher than 6.7 you will not be able to change your soil pH. No amount of lime will be able to raise it. You can add lime and you will get a
temporary rise in pH but the number will quickly sink back
to the original. I'm not sure why but according to the Cooperative
Extension Horticulturalist in Palmer, AK it's a fact. Buffer pH is
something your neighborhood chemistry teacher or you test kit cannot
The buffer pH in the Harvest of Hope Memorial Garden to from 6.7 to 6.9. Since I can't raise the pH, I am very glad the water pH is 5.1 to 5.3. This will still grow everything I need to grow and I don't have to do anything to lower the pH for the potatoes. They love it. The apple trees think it's pretty cool as well.
Be sure to use a lab that is set up to test Alaska soils. There are only a few. You can check the Cooperative Extension Service website for a list. I use Brookside Laboratories in Ohio. They are the cheapest and they do the proper tests for Alaska. You should request test S001AN. The cost is $20 per sample. This will give you everything you need to get things going well.
If you have questions about this you can email me or contact the Cooperative Extension Service.
The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, a Domestic Hunger Grant from the ELCA World Hunger, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.