I've noticed the soil ph level in my islands where I have a lot of pine straw keeps dropping. It seems every year I have to apply lime to get it back up to 7.0 and then it just drops again. Does pine straw reduce PH balance?
Not directly. Pine straw indirectly affects the ph in your soil because as it decomposes it does release by products that are low. These in turn bring down the soil. Over time, this can be significant. For some yards, pine straw decomposes slowly and the effect is barely noticeable. For regions where there is a lot of moisture, the rapid decay of pine straw will reflect in rapid ph changes in the soil.
To keep the PH in balance, you'll need to first monitor it with a good SOIL PH METER. This level should be monitored by probing the soil every 3 months. Apply Lime Pellets or even better, some LIQUID LIME as needed. Details on how to use these products can be found in our SOIL PH CONTROL article.