How to Balance pH for Wild Parsnip Plants

Balancing the pH for wild parsnip plants is crucial for their optimal growth and development. Wild parsnip, scientifically known as Pastinaca sativa, thrives in well-draining, loose, sandy soil with a pH between 5.8 and 7.5. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to test, adjust, and maintain the soil pH for your wild parsnip plants.

Soil Testing for Wild Parsnip

  1. Conduct a Soil Test: Before planting your wild parsnip, it’s essential to test the soil pH using a home testing kit or by sending a sample to a local agricultural extension service. This will provide an accurate measurement of the current pH level.

  2. Interpret the Results: Ideal soil pH for wild parsnip plants should be between 5.8 and 7.5. If the test results show a pH outside this range, you’ll need to make adjustments to balance the soil.

Adjusting the Soil pH for Wild Parsnip

wild parsnipImage source: Pixabay

  1. Lowering the pH (Acidic Soil):
  2. If the soil pH is below 5.8, you’ll need to add lime to raise the pH.
  3. For every 1 point increase in pH, add about 7 lbs of lime per 100 square feet of garden space.

  4. Increasing the pH (Alkaline Soil):

  5. If the soil pH is above 7.5, you’ll need to add elemental sulfur to lower the pH.
  6. For every 1 point decrease in pH, add about 1 lb of sulfur per 100 square feet of garden space.

  7. Incorporating Organic Matter:

  8. Adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can help balance the pH and improve soil structure.
  9. Organic matter also provides nutrients for the plants and helps retain moisture.

  10. Monitoring Soil pH:

  11. Regularly monitor the soil pH and make adjustments as needed.
  12. Soil pH can change over time due to factors such as rainfall, plant growth, and the addition of amendments.
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Home Remedies for Balancing Soil pH

While household items like vinegar, baking soda, or wood ashes can be used to adjust soil pH, these methods are less precise and may not provide the same level of accuracy as using soil amendments specifically designed for pH adjustment. Use these home remedies with caution and in moderation, as excessive use can lead to soil imbalances and negatively affect plant growth.

Additional Considerations

wild parsnip 2Image source: Pixabay

  1. Shade and Temperature:
  2. While wild parsnip prefers full sun, it can tolerate some light shade.
  3. Shade can help regulate soil temperature and prevent excessive drying, which can affect soil pH.

  4. Watering and Weeding:

  5. Providing adequate water and removing weeds can help reduce stress on the plants and promote healthy growth.

  6. Fertilization:

  7. Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer can provide necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

By following these steps, you can effectively balance the pH for your wild parsnip plants, ensuring their optimal growth and development. Remember to regularly monitor the soil pH and make adjustments as needed to maintain the ideal conditions for your wild parsnip plants.


  • Parsnip | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation,
  • Soil pH Adjustment,
  • Soil pH and Plant Nutrition,
  • Soil Microbes and Soil Health,
  • Home Remedies for Soil pH,