Gardening Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables, Herbs And Fruit

Considering The Soil’s pH

Considering The Soil’s pH

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Prior to deciding which soil-feeding regimen to choose, find out the nature and pH of your soil. Its pH majorly influences the plants and cultivation techniques you opt for.

The lime content of a soil determines its alkalinity or acidity. Hence, conduct a pH test on your soil to figure out its acidic or alkaline level. A neutral soil measures 7 on the pH scale; an acidic one measures from 0 to 7; and an alkaline one has a pH ranging from 8 to 14.

Plants thrive in soils with a 6.5 pH; manage your soil’s lime content accordingly. Make sure to add lime according to the plant’s requirements because excessive lime can lock up the plant minerals, making them unavailable to the plant.

Adjusting Soil pH

Excessive soil acidity is usually corrected by adding lime, in one of three forms: ground limestone (the most commonly used form), burned lime (not recommended), and hydrated lime. The latter two are derived from the first.

Ground limestone is calcium carbonate (CaC3). When burned, the carbon dioxide is driven off, resulting in burned lime (CaO). The volume of the ground limestone is reduced by 44 percent, but its neutralizing value is unimpaired. Hydrated lime is made by adding water to burned limestone.

You may adjust the pH of your soil, if necessary, by applying lime or other materials as suggested in Table 3. Spread the material as evenly as possible and work it into the top three or four inches of soil uniformly. (If you should need to substitute one form of lime for another: 100 pounds of ground limestone equals 74 pounds of hydrated lime.)

adjusting soil ph level chart