How Soil pH Affects Plant Growth

soil pH1Your garden or the landscape frequently needs to be checked if the soil pH is appropriate with your gardening requirements or not. If you are not getting required response even after using fertilizers you must get the soil tested and ph Level determined.

pH Values and pH Scale

pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a soil. The pH scale runs through 0.0 to 14.0 values on the scale. The most acid soil would have 0.0 value stands for the most acidic soil while 14.0 is the top value for the most alkaline soil on the pH scale.

Middle of the scale i.e. at 7.0 values is attributed to the neutral soil. Meaning thereby, the soil with 7.0 pH value would neither be acidic nor alkaline in nature on the scale. Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Soil Preparation Tips for Your Garden

rich-soilFirst thing you need to do with your garden soil is to get a soil test. Results of the soil analysis will guide you for what you need to add to correct the pH and boost deficient nutrients.

A soil rich with organic matter is considered to be best for plant growth. It is a good gardening practice to mix compost into soil at the start of the gardening year. It enhances the soil’s physical condition, resulting in improved drainage, increased moisture retention and better aeration. Compost compliments soil with organic matter that contains plant nutrients and act as fertilizer.

Based on specific plant requirements you should add extra nutrients, fertilizers and additives. For indoor as well as outdoor plants bat and seabird guano provides fast- and slow-release nutrients. It is a nematocide. Bone meal is high in phosphate and good for bulbs and root crops. Blood meal is nitrogen-rich dried powdered animal blood and builds leafy green plants. It also helps in controlling moles, squirrels and deer. Cottonseed meal is a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer that also adds organic material to the soil. Read the rest of this entry

Fall is Best Time For Soil Testing

The first action that should come in your mind once you start diagnosing a plant problem in your own garden is to go for soil testing.Many problems in lawns and gardens can be easily rectified if the owner knows the condition of the soil.

Fall is an appropriate time of the year to go for soil testing. It becomes even more prudent if adding organic soil amendments that can take longer to become available to plants. A quality soil report serves as a primary tool and the first step for getting any lawn and garden off to a great start as well as maintaining it through the year.

There are two prime responsible factors for healthy plants: Putting the right plant in the right place; and feeding the soil, and letting the soil feed the plants.

Making sure your soil is healthy will provide the conditions and nutrients your plants and lawn need to thrive. A soil test is a simple — but important — step in assessing some of the most basic elements. Consistently amending soil with compost and other organic matter will put you well on your way to ideal soil conditions. The soil testing results would sure be an eye-opening experience and well worth the small investment. Read the rest of this entry

Very often people find it difficult to distinguish between plant nutrition  and plant fertilization. These two are entirely different aspects as a matter of fact. 

“Plant nutrition refers to the needs and uses of the basic chemical elements in the plant,” Koske explains. “Fertilization is the term used when these materials are supplied to the environment around the plant. But chemical change may occur before a plant nutrient supplied in a fertilizer can be taken up and used by the plant,” says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske. Read the rest of this entry

When leaves of a healthy plant or a bush start turning yellow you should pay attention to the cause and its remedy immediately. Pale yellow leaves of a plant are an indicator of either presence of insects or poor drainage and soil quality.

Such plants could be suffering from the problem of poor drainage. You need to check it properly. It is quite common during the rainy season that water stands still at a particular area around the plant. Effect of this water logging could result in to turning the leaves yellow slowly.

It is therefore very important that during heavy rains the proper drainage should be ensured. When it rains heavy just check how long it takes for the water to drain.

If you observe that water stands even after two hours or so it is certain that the drainage is poor. In such case you need to pay more attention on the quality of the soil. You may also consider improving the soil simply by adding more organic matter to the soil. Adding compost would be a better option as well.

Leaves of the plants do turn yellow due to the deficiency in the overall and specific nutrients in the soil. But this can only be ensured with the help of a soil-test. You may locate a good soil-testing-laboratory nearby your location for such a soil-test.

Results of the soil-test will help in determining what nutrients exactly have gone depleted in the soil and what exactly would be appropriate to add to it.

Apart from this factor you should also examine if the leaves have turned yellow because of insects. Some times it is not possible to detect during daytimes as there are insects that feed only during nights. You may use insect-control –chemicals to overcome such a problem when detected but never ever forget to read and comply the label instructions.

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