The soil is of vital importance for plants, not in vain, in it are found the minerals that they need so much to grow. But sometimes we find a very acidic or very alkaline soil, which rather than allowing the roots to absorb them, makes them weaken, endangering the life of the vegetables. Is there any way to prevent this from happening?
Fortunately, yes. There is one thing we can do so that there can be a beautiful garden or orchard on that land. For that, you only have to know how to change the pH of the soil , something that we are going to explain to you next.
- 1 What are the differences between an alkaline soil and an acid one?
- 1.1 Alkaline soil
- 1.2 Acid soil
- 2 How to change the pH of the soil?
- 2.1 Alkaline soil
- 2.2 Acid soil
What is the difference between an alkaline soil and an acid soil?
Before knowing how to change the pH, it is necessary to discover why we need to change it.
If we have an alkaline soil, that is, a land whose pH is 7 or higher, some plants will have deficiencies of such important minerals as iron, copper, manganese and zinc . In addition, this type of soil has a tendency to compact a lot, which prevents the water from draining as quickly as desired.
If we have an acidic soil, that is, a land whose pH is less than 7, the problem that some plants encounter is that they cannot find -or cannot absorb- phosphorus, calcium, boron, molybdenum or magnesium , which are minerals essential for its growth.
How to change the pH of the soil?
When we want to change the pH of alkaline soil to make it a bit more acidic, we can use the following:
- Powdered sulfur : the effect is slow (6 to 8 months), but being very cheap, it is what is most often used. We have to add 150 to 250g/m2 and mix it with the soil, and measure the pH from time to time.
- Iron sulfate : it has a faster effect than sulfur, but it is necessary to measure the pH since we could lower it more than necessary. The dose to lower the pH by 1 degree is 4 grams of sulfated iron per liter of water.
- Blonde peat : it has a very acid pH (of 3.5). We have to throw 10,000-30,000kg/ha.
When, on the contrary, we want to raise the pH of an acid soil, we can use the following:
- Ground limestone : we have to spread it and mix it with the earth.
- Calcareous water : highly recommended to raise the pH only in small corners.
In either case we have to measure the pH, because if we are growing acid plants ( Japanese maples , camellias , etc.) and we raise the pH to more than 6, they will immediately show symptoms of chlorosis due to the lack of iron.