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How to lower the pH: tips to correct the reaction of the soil and lower the pH value with natural methods.
The absorbency of the soil depends on its pH thus, thesoil pHit can have strong effects on plant health and growth. Plants generally prefer apHtending to neutral, i.e. between the values of 6 - 7.5 but some plants grow better with pH values lower than 6 (acidophilic plants) or with pH values higher than 7 (basolife plants). If you have a calcareous soil (alkaline / basophilic, with pH values greater than 7) and you intend to cultivate acidophilic plants, you must necessarily correct the reaction of the soil by lowering the pH value. On this page we will seehow to lower the pHand then acidify the soil.
Acidophilic plants: plants that prefer a low pH
Among the most common acidophilic plants we remember camellias, hydrangeas, rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, heather, gardenias, mimosas, lilies, ferns, blueberries, firs, maples, sequoias, beeches, chestnuts and mimosas.
How to lower the pH of the soil
To decrease the pH of the soil we can implement various strategies. In the articlehow to use leftover coffeewe have seen how this drink manages to acidify the soil by lowering its pH in a short time, not only the coffee infusion, even the so-called "pose "(coffee grounds) can be used to acidify a soil. For lower the pH of the soil in a gradual way we recommend the prolonged administration of manure and organic matter over time. Formake the soil acidicit is possible to use other natural liquids such as orange, lemon or tomato juice.
Mulching can also help correct the soil pH. You can employacid mulchlike spruce sawdust and oak leaves.
Attention to irrigation:
the water you use to irrigate the plants can be highly calcareous and can raise the pH of the soil, making your efforts to acidify it in vain! If your goal is to obtain acidic soil, you can irrigate the garden with distilled water, well water or, even better, rainwater. For more information:how to recover rainwater.If you have no other choice, you can use tap water by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for every liter of water used.
In addition to thenatural remediesjust mentioned, to lower the pH of the soil it is possible to use the chemistry available on the market. The soil can be made more acidic by adding products such as: aluminum sulphate (fast acting, immediately acidifies the soil as soon as it melts), sulfur, urea-coated sulfur, siliceous additive, diammonium phosphate, ferric sulphate and nitrate ammonium; peat can also lower the pH of the soil predisposing it to the cultivation of acidophilic plants. Aluminum sulfate is a well-known additive for growers hydrangeas, this substance is added to the soil in the flowering phase, to acidify the soil and obtain flowers of a brighter blue.
Once the pH has been lowered, ad hoc fertilizations can be applied to stabilize it. To stabilize the pH of the soil in the long term, the addition ofground lupine.
How to measure the pH of the soil
The pH of the soil can be measured by taking a sample of soil to be placed in demineralized water. You will need a ph meter or litmus strips. Nothing expensive, on Amazon, a kit of 400 strips (litmus papers) are offered at a price of 5.23 euros with free shipping.
For all instructions on how to proceed:how to check the pH of the soil.
If our soil pH measurement returns excessively low values, we can try to increase the soil pH by adding substances with alkaline pH. Among the substances that can help us to alkalize the soil we point out limestone rocks, calcium carbonate, marl and quicklime.
The main plants that prefer a high pH (basophilic plants) are: boxwood, mulberry, walnut, pomegranate, cherry, hibiscus, pine, larch, common juniper, holm oak and oleander.
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