Different vegetables and fruits may require difference pH levels. If your vegetables are not growing according to plan, pH could very well be the problem. A good rule of thumb for most vegetable gardens is a pH level around 6.5. However, this number may vary depending on the type of vegetables you are growing.
Understanding the soil's pH is a necessary consideration so that you can accommodate the vegetable plants' preference for growing. It is also important for you to understand how to protect your plants from diseases that grow in certain pH soils.
It's not always easy to tell whether your soil is alkaline or acidic. Purchase a home soil testing kit to make sure you have a good understanding of your soil's pH level. It's always best to take two tests because there are many factors that can impact this test, such as chemical fertilizers and animal droppings. The soil acid test kit can be purchased at a home and garden store or you can get it from your local agricultural extension office.
Vegetable plants that need an acidic environment to grow are tomatoes, carrots, beans, okra, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, squash and peppers. Alkaline plants are watermelons and cantaloupes.
Adjustments can be made to enhance the acid content of your soil. One method is to add lime applications. Most of these products can be purchased at your garden center.
Your acid test results may recommend using a chemical fertilizer or sulfur to enhance the soil. Always select an all-natural or organic product when enhancing the soil pH levels for vegetable plants.
- Garden Guides: Types of Acidic Vegetable Plants
- Allotment Vegetable Growing: pH Levels of Soil
- Rod's Garden: Soil Enhancer
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About this Author
Pamela Gray has served as a newspaper reporter, feature and freelance writer on health-wellness, vegetarianism and raw foods topics. Gray has been a frequent contributor for eHow, Internet Brands and Associated Content. She is a certified vegan-raw food chef, nutrition consultant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from New York University.