With intensive farming, the land on the site acidifies over time. Not all plants like acidic soils. Rather, the opposite is true. What to do?
Soil acidity – the ability of the soil to exhibit the properties of acids. It is best to grow plants in neutral soil (pH 7). With increased acidity of the soil, as well as with its alkalization, some nutrients become unavailable or inaccessible to plants. At the same time, the efficiency of fertilizers applied to the soil also decreases.
Why is acidic soil harmful? Too high acidity (pH below 5.0) of the soil leads to the fact that many nutrients pass into a state in which they cease to be absorbed by plants. In addition, the activity of many beneficial bacteria and fertilizers stops.
Why are alkaline soils harmful? On alkaline soils (pH above 7.5), plants develop poorly, and their leaves turn yellow because they cannot receive iron (it simply cannot be absorbed).
It is important to understand that soil acidity can change over time. Most often this happens due to watering when minerals are gradually washed out of the soil. If the water is soft, then the acidity in this case increases, and if it is hard, it decreases.
The best ph of soil for cultivation
This is not to say that acidity is good or bad. Some plants like acidic soil, others don’t. For example, we have collected the most popular garden crops and the most suitable pH for them.
Soil acidity table for vegetables and berries and other garden plants
|Neutral soil (pH 6.5-7.5)||Weakly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.5)||Medium acidic soil (pH 4-5.5)||Strongly acidic soil (pH less than 4)|
Soil acidity table for garden flowers
|Neutral soil (pH 6.5-7.5)||Weakly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.5)||Medium acidic soil (pH 4-5.5)|
|Gladiolus||Hydrangea||Lily of the valley|
Soil acidity table
|Acidity of black soil||Acidity of vegetable soil||Acidity of fertile soil||High-moor peat acidity||Lowland peat acidity||Acidity of peat soil|
If you know the type of soil in your area, find it in the table below. Under its name, you will see the pH level. Thus you can determine which
Determine the acidity of the soil
To determine the acidity of the soil in your area, it is not at all necessary to call specialists. You can simply purchase a universal litmus paper from the pharmacy and take several soil samples from the site. Each of them should be wrapped in pieces of dense cloth and placed in separate glasses of water (the ratio of water to soil is 1: 1). It is best to take distilled water or rainwater.
After 5 minutes, place a litmus paper in each container. This must be done very quickly: just dip a piece of paper in water for 1-2 seconds or apply a drop of liquid on it. The indicator paper will change color, by which you can determine the acidity of a particular soil sample. As a rule, an acidity scale is attached to the indicator paper.
You can determine the acidity of the soil on the site by conducting a simple experiment. To do this, you need to pour 1 tsp. ground on glass and drizzle with a little 9% vinegar. In this case, it is advisable to put the glass on a dark surface so that the result is clearly visible.
- A lot of foam has formed – the soil is alkaline;
- there is foam, but not very much – the soil has a neutral reaction;
- there is no foam at all – the soil is acidic.
In some cases, increased acidity can also be detected by external signs:
- acidic podzolic soils are whitish;
- on the site, weeds that are resistant to the acidity of the soil feel good: creeping buttercup, whitewort, pickle, field coryza, pike (meadow);
- acidic soils are very fond of moss;
- clover or alfalfa grow poorly, wheat does not winter.
An indicator of the type of soil in the garden can be regular beetroot. The color of its leaves and petioles will tell you what soils we are dealing with:
- beets have grown with red leaves – the soil is acidic;
- red streaks on the leaves – slightly acidic soil;
- green leaves with red petioles – the soil is neutral.
Soil liming methods
To reduce the acidity of the soil, it needs to be limed. This can be done in several ways. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Slaked lime (or fluff). It is a white powder that dissolves well in water and neutralizes soil acidity in a very short time. With increased acidity, 0.5 kg of lime is added per 1 square meter, with an average degree of acidity – 0.3, and with a weak one – 0.2 kg.
Dolomite flour. This drug does not work as fast as lime, but it allows you to increase soil fertility due to the content of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate in its composition. In acidic soil, 0.5 kg of dolomite flour per 1 sq. .m.
Chalk. Finely ground chalk is also a great way to reduce soil acidity. With high acidity indices per 1 square meter, 0.3-0.7 kg of chalk should be introduced, if the level is average – 0.2-0.6 kg, with low – 0.1-0.4 kg.
Wood ash. The substance contains calcium, as well as potassium, phosphorus, and other trace elements useful for plants. Wood ash is best used on sandy soils or peat bogs. It is introduced into the soil at the rate of: 0.4-0.5 kg per 1 square meter with increased acidity, 0.2-0.3 kg per 1 square meter with medium acidity, 0.2 kg with weak soil acidity.
The rates of application of lime-containing preparations also depend on the composition of the soil. Light soils require lower doses of preparations compared to heavy clay soils.
How to lime the ground in a summer cottage
If the soil is very acidic, it is necessary to add substances containing lime gradually (especially for light soils). They are evenly distributed over the soil surface, without mixing to the depth. The lime application intervals should be 1-2 years.
If the soil is heavy – clay or loamy – then the required dose of lime can be applied at a time. It is best to do this in the fall, and then dig up the beds.
Lime should not be applied along with manure. In this mix, insoluble compounds are obtained that cannot be absorbed by plants.
Crops such as beans, peas, cucumbers, pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, rutabaga, and celery do not thrive on limed soil. Therefore, chalk, dolomite flour, or slaked lime under them must be brought in ahead of time, at least a year in advance.
Every gardener who wants to grow a good crop and is used to taking care of his plot should control the acidity of the soil.