Soil PH And Your Garden Plants – What You Need to Know

Soil PH And Your Garden Plants – What You Need to Know
  • Opening Intro -

    Soil PH is, without doubt, one of the most crucial factors to consider when designing and planning a garden.

    This is largely because different plants show varying tolerances to different soil PH levels.

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Soil PH is, without doubt, one of the most crucial factors to consider when designing and planning a garden. This is largely because different plants show varying tolerances to different soil PH levels.

Some plants thrive in acidic soil, while others thrive in soil that is alkaline. A larger group of plants bloom and thrive in soil that is neither acidic nor alkaline, that is, soil with a neutral PH level.

Behind the PH’s effect on Plants

The soil contains nutrients such as iron, potassium, phosphorous, and manganese; these are essential for healthy plant growth and development.

These nutrients are mixed up with water in the soil to form a solution that can readily be absorbed by the plant through the roots. Most of these nutrients readily dissolve to form the solution when the soil PH is neutral.

Acidity or alkalinity in the soil adversely affects the rate at which they dissolve, which translates to a reduced uptake of these nutrients. Much like a malnourished person, stunted growth and a generally unhealthy plant are the results.

In other cases, soil acidity or alkalinity may create an environment where the nutrients are availed to the plant for absorption at toxic levels. Additionally, the PH levels may promote the development of toxic non-nutrient elements in the soil. Both these cases depict a situation of plant poisoning which may cause the plant to wither away and die.

PH Checking and Adjusting

Comprehensive soil profiling and analysis can be done at a commercial laboratory for a fee. A more inexpensive alternative to check the PH level of the soil in your garden is to buy a DIY kit from the local home improvement/home remodeling store or nursery. It is credible and the results highly accurate if the instructions are followed verbatim.

Depending on the characteristics of the plants you desire to have in your garden, you may find it necessary to adjust the PH levels. The results from the test will help you determine the appropriate course of action.

Adding different alkaline material, in what is commonly known as liming, corrects acidic soil by raising the PH levels. How much of the liming material is required will depend on both the soil type and the initial PH levels as revealed by the test.

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Powdered sulfur and covering the soil with heaps of organic matter such as shed leaves are among proven alternatives that work to lower the PH levels of the soil and add acidity.

Correcting the soil PH accordingly creates a conducive environment for healthy growth and you can look forward to a bountiful yield from the vegetables among your garden plants.

Temperature levels, surrounding vegetative cover and the amount of rainfall in an area are among major factors that dictate the soil PH. With this resourceful information on how to monitor and control the PH levels, you can look forward to planning and creating your home garden.

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