We all enjoy planting an array of plants in our garden so that we can have lots of colour and variety but we don’t always think about the various needs of the plants. One example is the soil pH requirement of a plant.
Generally most plants do best in soils that have a pH close to neutral but there are some exceptions. This is why checking and adjusting the pH of your garden soil is one task that should be done to ensure that your garden plants are given optimum growing conditions so they can live up to your expectations!
This is especially true if you are making up your own medium for growing plants in. Recently I started making my own potting mix using compost as one of the ingredients. After combining all of the potting mix ingredients it was essential to check the pH of my mix and adjust it as necessary.
I have been looking into and learning more about what effects soil pH, how to adjust it and what pH range various plants require. I have found several links that I feel were very useful in helping me to understand how to test and adjust my soil pH according to the needs of my plants.
General Information About Soil pH
The following link is great for getting a general understanding of when and how to test soil pH and what the results mean.
Royal Horticultural Society website: Soil: understanding pH and testing soil
What Soil pH Does My Plant Need?
Many plants like to grow in a soil that is slightly acidic but as I mentioned earlier there are some exceptions. I have included the following links that cover an extensive list of plants with a suggested suitable pH range for each plant.
Garden Express website: Soil pH Guide
Eutech Instruments website: Gardening and soil pH (PDF)
MISSISSIPPE STATE UNIVERISTY, MSUCares.com website: Soil pH for Landscape Plants
How to Increase Soil pH
It is generally accepted that the addition of lime is used to increase soil pH. As I was learning about testing and adjusting soil pH I wanted to know about the types of lime that can be used as well as how much lime to add. I found the following two links were a great source of information on using lime in the garden.
Royal Horticultural Society website: Lime and liming
Burkes Backyard website PDF: Garden myths, the truth about lime
How to Decrease Soil pH
If you have alkaline soil or you need to decrease the pH of your soil then the following link has some good advice. This website covers what can be used as well as when, how and how much to apply.
Royal Horticultural Society website: Acidifying soil
I have found that all of the above links have helped me to understand more about soil pH and how to control it. I hope that the links that I have shared are also helpful for you.