The Importance of Soil PH

Photo: Pinterest

The pH of the soil has a direct impact on the fertility of the soil. If you’re serious about your garden or vegetables and fruits which you are growing in your garden, it is important to know about the pH of the soil. Depending on the pH, your soil can be acidic or alkaline. Each of these has its own pros and cons. Also, the pH level of the soil has a direct impact on the nutrients which are available in the soil. Owing to this very factor, you have to always be aware of the pH levels of the soil.

Before you bring out your pH scale, you have to understand the levels on it. The pH scale can go from 1 to 14. 7 is considered neutral. If the pH level is below 7, it is considered as acidic. On the other hand, if the pH level is above 7, it is considered as alkaline. If you’re looking for the optimumpresence of nutrients in the soil, you have to ensure that the pH level is around 6 to 7. Even thoughthis is the ideal level but anything between 3.5 to 10 will provide you with the conducive environment for growing your plants.

One thing which you have to keep in mind is that a slight variation in pH can result in drastic variation in nutrients. This is because each number on the pH scale is to a factor of 10. That is whyyou have to be very careful when you’re looking to maintain the pH level of your soil.

You will now look at both the soil options in order to help you better understand which one is suitable for your garden.

 

Acidic soil

Acidic soil is often found in areas which has a significant amount of rainfall. The main problem with acidic soil is that the nutrients will be absorbed by the soil at a much slower pace. In many of the cases, the amountof nutrients which are found are pretty low. Also, when you’re using fertilizers on acidic soil, they will yield a little result because absorption will not take place.

Solution:

When you’re looking to increase the pH level of the soil so that it is not acidic, a good option is to add agricultural limestone. When you’re adding limestone, it will replace calcium as well as magnesium. This will help you in increasing the pH level of the soil.

 

Alkaline soil

If the pH level of the soil is pretty high because it is alkaline you can easily add organic matter in order to reduce the pH levels. It is much easier to manage the alkaline soil as compared to the acidic soil. You need to test the soil and in order to find out about the sodium contents. Oftentimes, in the alkalinesoil,the sodium content is on the higher side. If it is so, it will hamper the growth of your plants. That is whyit is important to solve the problem of high pH levels when you’re having an alkalinesoil.

Solution:

As we stated above, you can easily add decomposed organic matter. In addition to that, you can use foliarspray or liquid seaweed.

 

All in all, when you’re planning on starting some new plants, it is important to know about the pH level of the soil. Only once you are able to do that will it become easier for you to choose the right kind of plants for your perfect garden.

How To Grow Turmeric Indoors

Here is a quick video I made about how I get my turmeric plants started!

For those who prefer it in text, the process is as follows:

  1. Soak turmeric root in water for 24 hours and leave in a warm, dark location until green spots or “eyes” have formed.
  2. Plant 1 inch deep in good potting soil (I use cactus soil)
  3. In 7-14 days you should have visible shoots coming off of your plant
  4. Transplant into an 18″ pot before the plant becomes root bound as this will prevent a good harvest.
  5. In 10 months,  harvest and enjoy your fresh turmeric!

Thanks for reading,

OOCH

Photo Source

Changing The Acidity Of Your Garden Soil

This post was inspired by the death of a miracle fruit plant of mine due to my inability to acidify the soil in time. RIP.

Changing Soil Acidity in Garden

Those who want to keep healthy plants in their garden should make it a point to determine the right pH for the soil and maintain the same. When the soil has the proper pH, the plants will effectively absorb the nutrients that are required for their growth. As the first step, one has to decide the changes that are to be made so as to ensure the proper pH of the soil. By way of lowering the pH, the acidity can be increased. In case the soil is too acidic the pH must be raised. By way of adding a few common compounds to the soil the pH can be lowered and acidity of the soil will increase. By way of adding a liming material or a different base compound the pH of the soil can be increased so that the soil will become less acidic. Normally, the pH of garden soils will be in the range 5.5 – 8.0. The soil with pH 7.0 is considered as neutral – neither acidic nor alkaline. Hence, when the pH of garden soil is less than 6, it is highly acidic and similarly when it is more than 7.5, the soil is highly alkaline. When it is highly acidic you need to add ground limestone to the soil in order to increase the pH and sulfur is to be added to the highly alkaline soil in order to reduce the ph. In places where there is very high rainfall the soil will be acidic and in places with less rainfall, the soil will be alkaline. Wherever you are, by adding lime or sulfur you can change the soil acidity in the garden.

Quantity of limestone or Sulfur to be added

It is very important to ensure that only the recommended quantity of limestone or sulfur is added to the soil to rectify the pH imbalance. Lawn and Garden service centers and the various labs that conduct soil analysis will provide charts from which we can easily find out the exact quantity of limestone or sulfur required for 1000 sq ft of the garden. From the data you can calculate the total quantity of the material required to change the soil acidity in the whole garden area.

The process of adding limestone/sulfur to the garden soil

A simple machine known as ‘Drop Spreader’ is used to add limestone or sulfur to the soil. This machine is not very expensive and using this machine the material can be spread evenly. One can also rent this machine from anyone of the nurseries. Those who have the skill to spread the material evenly can do this task manually also. However, while spreading the material by hand one must wear the gloves and also should do the work very carefully throughout. Limestone or sulfur is to be added after uniformly tilling the land to a depth of minimum 5 inches.

Testing the pH of your garden soil

Plants like blueberries, rhododendrons, Azaleas and conifers will prefer the soil with pH in the range 5 – 5.5, whereas grasses, vegetables and ornamental plants will grow well in slightly acidic soil with pH in the range 5.8 – 6.5. Once you know the pH range that is ideal for your garden soil you may test the soil to find out its pH at present. Either a commercial soil test can be conducted at the home or at the garden store or the sample of the soil may be forwarded to a soil testing lab that will test the sample and accurately determine the pH of the soil.  In DIY method the pH of the soil is determined by making own pH test strips.