05 Aug Soil PH: What It Means for Your Garden, and How to Monitor It
Sometimes our vegetable plants, backyard trees and shrubs, and even potted flowers can suffer from what appears to be disease or other type of similar affliction, but the real problem can be a PH imbalance in the soil itself. Every plant in the world has its own preferred range of soil acidity, and that acidity can be drastically different between plant species. And it’s important for the average gardener—even the person who simply plants trees and shrubs in their backyard landscape—to understand each plant’s PH needs, and to adjust the soil accordingly.
But What Exactly is PH?
We measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance in terms of its PH units. This is on a scale of 0 to 14, and the lower the number (7 is considered to be neutral) the higher the acidity; the higher the number the greater the alkalinity.
PH and Plants…
It’s a somewhat complex process between plants, soil, and PH. Plants derive nutrients from soil at different units of PH. What this means when, say, your backyard blueberry bushes (Blueberry bushes are notorious for needing very specific levels of PH) appear diseased, is that the PH is preventing those plants from nourishment. Most plants are suited for a highly acidic soil, because when the soil is acidic most plants have access to all the available nutrients. When a PH is too low for a plant, that plant will appear troubled; behind the scenes the plant is being poisoned by toxins that are only available to the plant at certain PH levels.
How to Adjust PH
First, you need to know the exact PH of your soil. You will want to test the soil with a PH checker, and when you determine whether your PH is too acidic, or not acidic enough, you will want to adjust the levels accordingly. And remember that it’s vitally important that you only use the most high-quality soil that is rich in nutrients. Thankfully Rocky Mountain Compost has quality soils and fertilizers to help you achieve a perfect garden.