Soil PH...An Important "Key" To Successful Gardening--In Plain English

 


Article by: Fred Davis

Soil ph is among the least understood and most universally ignored or abused "keys" to getting the kind of results that makes one gardener--and his or her gardening , Exotic Flowers: Luxurious and Impressive for Your Home and Garden Decor results--stand head and shoulders above all others.

Just what is pH anyway? The term "pH" is nothing more than a way of expressing the amount of acidity or alkalinity in the soil. , Beware of Toxic Mulch A "sour" soil , Organic Hydroponics - Simplified is acidic to one degree or other, while "sweet" refers to an alkaline soil. , Lawn and Garden Care - Simple Tips For Success Most New England garden , Feeding the Hummingbirds soils are, by nature, , Chives - Allium Schoenoprasum moderately to strongly acidic and must often be "adjusted" to encourage them to grow , Properly Watering Hillside and Sloped Landscaping better crops and flowers. , Common Landscaping Tools For Every Landscaper Deep woods , How to Choose the Most Economical Pond Pump and blueberry barrens are usually very strongly acidic...that's how the plants , Waterfall Ponds which grow , How to Start Your Lawn by Seeding or Sod there like it.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 (7 being neutral--neither acidic nor alkaline). Numbers smaller than 7 indicate acidic conditions and, as you might readily guess, those above 7 indicate alkaline conditions. Most vegetables, , Creating Woodland Gardens herbaceous perennials, , How To Divide Bulbs For Bigger Gardens annuals, , Would You Like More Information About Climbing Roses? field crops and fruits grow, , The Protea Family (Proteaceae) produce, and look their best at a pH of between 6.5 and 7.0--slightly-acidic-to-neutral. Soils , You Can Grow Your Own Herb Garden - Part 2 which are too acidic or too alkaline for the crop need to be adjusted to very nearly the ideal pH. Ground limestone or wood , Treating Rust on Metal Railings ashes raises the pH to sweeten acidy soil, , Vermiculture: Indoor Composting and Organic Improvement while adding carefully-measured amounts of sulfur increases acidity, lowering the pH.

How important is correct pH? It is important to understand that nutrients--substances which plants , Improvements in Robotic Lawn Mowers use for food--are much more readily available for plants , Would You Like More Information About Climbing Roses? to use when soil , Birdfeeders & Birdhouses - The Perfect Outdoor Accessories pH is as it should be. For example, a soil , Organic Hydroponics - Simplified may have ample nutritional elements (fertilizer) but if it is very strongly acidic or far too alkaline, those nutrients are quite simply locked-up and almost completely unavailable. Adjusting soil , Time for a Flower Garden Tune-Up pH to the recommended level releases food , You Can Grow Your Own Herb Garden - Part 2 for the plants , Treating Rust on Metal Railings to use.

Here's something you've probably never heard before: large quantities of the three primary nutrients--nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potash (K)--are blocked by a soil , Abatement and Congregation of Material pH more acidic than about 5.0. Phosphorus, in particular, is bound-up and almost totally inaccessible at pH levels below about 6.2 or 6.3 (moderately acidic). You can almost literally pour phosphorus into the garden , The Flower in August all you want or can afford...but if the soil , All About Tulip Gardens is even a little too acidic, the plants , Care Tips for ing and Growing Orchids Inside Your House simply can't get at it. Soils , Organic Hydroponics - Simplified containing ample organic , The Flower Garden in August matter (compost, rotted manure, etc.) fare better but every good gardener strives to maintain correct pH. Odd as it may sound, a great many frustrating problems in the field or garden , Kill 'em or Cure 'em : Moving Houseplants Outside for the Summer could be solved by a simple soil , Lawn and Garden Care - Simple Tips For Success test and then adjusting soil , Birdfeeders & Birdhouses - The Perfect Outdoor Accessories nutritional condition--especially pH--appropriately.

The logical and responsible next step? Drop by your local , Would You Like More Information About Climbing Roses? Cooperative Extension Service office and pick up a soil , Treating Rust on Metal Railings sample kit. It's some of the best insurance you can obtain against disappointment in the garden! , Teak Patio Table - Why You Need One
For preferred pH levels of a great many ornamentals and vegetables, , Everybody Feng Shui Tonight - in the Garden see "Appendix 1" of Fred's book, "Keys To The Garden , Balcony, Patio, and Courtyard ing Gate," at: http://www.hillgardens.com/libragardinale_tr26057.htm#appendix. While you're there, download your free copy of the book.

Fred Davis is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, , Lawn and Garden Care - Simple Tips For Success lecturer, and long-time nurseryman. He and his wife, Linda, own and operate a popular perennial , Would You Like More Information About Climbing Roses? nursery in Palermo, Maine, and maintain a no-frills gardening , Abatement and Congregation of Material information website at: http://www.HillGardens.com/

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