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Vegetable Plants That Love Alkaline & Lime Stone Soil

asparagus image by Dušan Zidar from

Since alkaline soil contains high levels of lime in its natural composition, adjusting soil pH from alkaline to acidic can be very difficult and expensive. Rather than spend money to change the soil's composition, work with your soil type and select vegetable plants that will grow in the alkaline soil of your garden. According to Loralie Cox, Cache County Horticulture Agent, and Rich Koenig, Extension Soil Specialist of Utah State University, there are several common garden vegetables that are well-adapted to soil alkaline pH levels ranging from neutral 7.0 to alkaline 8.0.


Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) belongs to the Liliaceae or lily family. Native to Eastern Asia and Europe, asparagus has a high tolerance for soil alkalinity. With the exception of areas that reach high summer temperatures, asparagus grows well throughout the United States. According to Burpee, asparagus yields best when planted in full sun.


Beets (Beta vulgaris) belong to the Amaranthaceae or Amaranth family. Beets grow in a broad range of climactic conditions, from cool to very warm regions. An easy planter, beets grow well in moist, loose soils, so plant its seeds in the early springtime. While beets are commonly grown for their round red roots, the vegetable's leaves are also eaten as a green leafy vegetable.


Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) is a member of Brassicaceae or mustard family. It is a cool-season vegetable that tolerates alkaline soil conditions. Start cabbage seeds indoors in the late winter or plant the seeds directly in moist soil in the spring through early summer, and keep the soil moist. Rotate your brassicas (mustard family) plants from season to season for optimal growing conditions and production.


Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) is another member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family that grows well in alkaline soils. Also a cool season plant, cauliflower grows well in partial shade or in full sun with its leaves tied together at the top to protect its white head from sun scorching.


Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) is a member of the Apiaceae (parsley or carrot) family, and thrives in soil with a 6.8 pH soil and even higher alkaline conditions. Celery has a long growing season that can extend from the early spring to the fall. It requires a lot of watering, and grows well in full sun to partial shade, preferring cool and moist conditions over hot and dry.


Carrots (Daucus carota ssp. sativus), a member of the Apiaceae (parsley or carrot) family, normally thrive in pH levels up to 6.8, but can tolerate alkaline soil conditions as well. Carrots require well-drained, moist and loose soil and full sun conditions. They can also grow in areas with a little bit of shade.

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