Soil For Gardening: Alkaline or Acidic Can Matter

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Some plants prefer alkaline soil, others like acidic.

Some need more nitrogen or potassium. That is where testing your soil comes in.

As far as whether the soil is acidic or not, the plants that grow wild in the yard may give you a clue.

The acidity, or lack of, in the soil is generally referred to a pH level. The pH scale runs from 0 – 14. The lower the number, the more acidic the soil. The neutral point is 7 and anything above that is alkaline.

If you have a good amount of sheep sorrel or Rumex acetocella, it means you have very acidic soil.

If nettles or violets come up. the soil is more or less neutral.

Clover or dandelions indicate that you have more of an alkaline soil.

When you buy any plants, it is a good idea to look into what the needs are of the plants. No matter if it is a flower, tree, fruit, or vegetable. They all have different needs for them to produce at their best.

Testing your soil is as easy as buying a soil test kit at your local garden center. You can pick one up at Walmart for only a few dollars.

Don’t assume that all of your yard will be the same. Mine isn’t. So, if you have separate gardens, test them both.

If you know ahead of time the type of soil you need and where you are planting, you will be able to work some nutrients into the soil. Compost, bone meal,or humus are examples of what you can use, depending on your needs.

Or you can use fertlizers, such  as Miracle Gro or organic fertilizers, that are made specifically for a certain type of plant. You can add those after planting.

Fertlizers are a great option when you didn’t realize before you planted what your soil might be lacking.


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