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5 ways to determine the acidity of the soil at home


Many gardeners have crop problems. They add fertilizer to the soil in time, weed the garden from weeds, water it, loosen the soil, but the plants still grow poorly. Of great importance for the proper development of garden crops is the degree of acidity of the soil. On how to determine the acidity of the soil at home, we'll talk further.

Soil acidity

Micronutrients, getting into the soil, after chemical reactions are converted into ions, which are actively absorbed by plants. The more hydrogen ions left after the reactions, the greater the acidity of the soil. In an acidic environment, most horticultural crops are not free to grow and eat.

Low-soluble salts dissolve perfectly in acidic soil, the metal content increases. Because of this, the plants are poisoned, they accumulate harmful substances that prevent the entry of useful elements.

How to determine the acidity at home

To denote the measure of hydrogen activity and the degree of acidity, it is customary to use the pH value.

pH 7.0 is a neutral medium in the soil. This indicator corresponds to clean water. If the pH value is below 7.0, then the soil becomes acidic, above - alkaline.

Acidity depends on natural conditions and on the results of human activity. The acidic environment is typical for regions with a humid climate, alkaline - for places with dry weather.

Perhaps every gardener is concerned about the proper development of their crops. Therefore, the acidity of the soil can be determined independently.

Soil pH scale

Using a special device

Find out the acidity with a special device - the easiest way. First you need to make a recess in the ground, after clearing it of foreign objects (stones, branches, grass). Then pour there pure distilled water, since only it has a neutral medium.

As soon as the water reacts with the ground and becomes dirty, you should lower the gauge probe into the water for 1 minute. After that, the instrument displays the value of acidity.

Do not touch the device probe or the water in the hole with your hands. Otherwise, the result will be unreliable.
pH meter for soil

According to the plants on the site

On acidic soil Cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkin, potatoes, sea buckthorn, currants, gooseberries, lemongrass, roses, geraniums, peonies, daffodils, tulips grow well.

In soil with neutral medium Cabbage, beans, peas, carrots, beets, radish, celery, parsley, apple, pear, plum, cherry, raspberry, garden strawberries, dahlias, irises feel great.

To plants that prefer alkaline soil include: dogwood, barberry, hawthorn, arnica, lilac, juniper, cedar, quince, purple, apricot, mulberry, edelweiss, lavender.

In such conditions it is not recommended to cut the beds. Garden crops will be bad here.
Haricot grows well in neutral soil

Over weeds

In an acidic environment they prefer to grow: sedge, ivan da maria, fern, plantain, horse sorrel, horsetail, wild rosemary, field mint, heather, cornflower, silverweed, tricolor violet, dandelion, clover, chamomile.

The neutral environment attracts adonis, sow thistle, field bindweed, nettle, quinoa, red clover, shepherd's bag.

If nettle grows in the garden, it means that the soil contains a large amount of nutritious organic elements.

In alkaline soil, chicory, spotted milk, thyme, sage, Badan, thistle, mustard grow.

Euphorbia spotted prefers alkaline soil

Using chalk

Two full tablespoons of land from the site to be put in a bottle. Then pour into it five tablespoons of warm water and a teaspoon of chalk, previously ground into powder. Put the rubber fingertip on the bottle, removing air from it. After that, you should shake it.

If the fingertip straightens, it means that the soil is acidic. If it is inflated only by half, it is slightly acid. If changes do not occur - neutral.

Determination of acidity using chalk: the fingertip did not swell, so the soil is neutral

Litmus paper

Determination of acidity using test strips is the most accurate method. You can buy them in stores for gardeners. They are sold in the form of a set of 50 - 100 strips together with a color scale of pH values.

For the experiment, place ground and clean water in a ratio of 1: 4 in the tank, after which everything must be mixed well.

After the appearance of the earthen sediment, the litmus paper should be dipped in water for a few seconds. Within one minute, a color should appear on the strip by which the soil pH can be easily determined.

Litmus indicator for determining soil acidity is the most reliable and time-tested method.

How to reduce or increase the acidity in the country

If measurements have shown that too acidic medium prevails in the soil at the cottage, it should be deoxidized. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Lime, previously slaked with water, is applied to the soil per 1 hundred part:
  • strongly acidic pH level - 50-75 kg;
  • medium acid - 45-45 kg;
  • weak acid - 25-35 kg.
  1. With limestone flour (another name is dolomitic) it is possible not only to reduce the acidity of the earth, but also to saturate it with magnesium, calcium, and also other trace elements. But this method will be inferior in speed of slaked lime.
The finer dolomite flour, the faster will be the chemical reactions in the soil.

Calculate the required amount of flour is not difficult:

  • strongly acidic medium - 500-600 grams per 1m2;
  • medium acid - 450-500 grams per 1m2;
  • slightly acid - 350-450 grams per 1m2.
  1. Calcium-containing substances can also lower the pH:
  • Crushed chalk for 1m2 300 grams are introduced into the highly acidic soil, 200 grams with moderate acid, and 100 grams with slightly acid.
  • Peat ash should be fertilized with a measure that is 4 times higher than the chalk application rate.
  • Wood ash is used at the rate of 100-200 grams per 1m2.
  1. The most convenient way of soil deoxidation is to buy special means for the normalization of the soil.

If the soil has an alkaline environment, it must be acidified:

  1. With the help of organic matter, such as fresh manure, leaf compost, high peat, sphagnum moss, rotted sawdust and needles. These substances slowly acidify the earth, but act for a long time.
  2. Mineral compounds will help reduce the alkalinity of the environment faster than organic:
  • Colloidal sulfur significantly increases acidity. It is necessary to make it for the winter to a depth of 10-15 cm. The result will appear in about a year.
  • Iron sulphate is faster, for this you need at 10m2 take 0.5 kg of the substance.
  1. The fastest method is to use acid solutions:
  • 50 ml of sulfuric acid diluted in 10 liters of water. This volume is designed for 1m2 garden plot;
  • 1-2 tablespoons of citric acid mixed with 10 liters of water.

The level of acidity of the soil is the most important indicator of plant growth and development. For the absolute majority of horticultural and fruit crops, a neutral environment is most favorable. To achieve such conditions, you can timely deoxidizing or acidifying the soil.