Different soils have different properties that should be considered when growing different things in them.
In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in alkaline soil.
Characteristics Of, & Profile Of Alkaline Soil
- Have a pH over 7
- Can contain limestone or some type of calcium/lime rock deposit underneath the soil
- Chalky soil is usually alkaline
Working With, Amending & Improving Alkaline Soil
Alkaline soils can be amended or balanced to come back to neutral, or become more acidic, with the additions of acidic fruit compost scraps, or elemental sulfur, or peat moss.
The addition of ash or lime will make soils more alkaline if you have acidic soils.
Note that there are differing levels of alkaline soil. Some plants for example may grow in slightly alkaline soil (just about 7), whilst some might like more alkaline soil. So, pH range does matter.
You can test pH with a simple pH testing kit you can buy online or at the local gardening or home/outdoors store. You can also get soil professionally tested.
Read more about working with and improving alkaline soil at:
A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow
Before we look at what grows well in alkaline soil, it’s important to note that all soils are slightly different in composition depending on the location, there are different external factors acting upon each soil, and ultimately, there are many physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.
This is just a guide on alkaline soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, fertilizer added, top soil added, pesticides added, tilling practices and so on).
It would do you well in the long term to get information on the type of soil in your location (what it is and what is the best way to manage it), the pH, the climate in your location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones), the plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need – and come up with a specific plan for your situation.
Plants & Flowers That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil
You can find a list of alkaline friendly plants at:
Vegetables, Crops & Herbs That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil
Most vegetables prefer neutral, or slightly acidic soil, but some can do well in alkaline soils (homeguides.sfgate.com):
- Sweet Potato
- Sugar beets
- Lima beans
- Swiss chard
Fruits & Fruits Trees That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil
Most fruit trees like a slightly acidic soil, or neutral soil, and not alkaline soils. But, there are a few that can tolerate alkaline soils:
- Fig trees
- Some cherry varieties
Trees, Shrubs & Bushes That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil
- Common, or European Beech
- European Ash
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Horse Chestnut
- Mugo Pine
- Ornamental Cherry
Find the full list of shrubs and bushes at https://www.thespruce.com/soil-and-plants-that-dont-mind-alkalinity-2131000
- Silver Maple
- Green Ash
- Honey Locust
- Austrian Pine
- Burr Oak