"The left side of my garden taste sweet and the right side tastes sour. The middle is just right tastes like pizza".
It is important for gardeners to know if their soil is alkaline or acid because soil pH directly affects plant growth. Furthermore plants can only access
certain nutrients when the soil pH falls into an acceptable range. If the pH is not close to what these plants require, some nutrients, such as phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, can not be dissolved in water. We must remember that plants drink their food instead of eating it. Therefore if the nutrients are not dissolved first, the plant can not absorb them. Thus, your Asparagus, corn, lettuce, roses and geraniums won't grow or produce to their full potential.
Other Good Reasons to Test Your Soil . . . Most soils are deficient in one or more nutrients. Testing your soil is going to let you know something is wrong. Poorly prepared soil leads to poor growth. pH results provide vital information for diagnosing plant problems.
Most nutrients that plants need are readily available when the pH of the soil solution ranges from 6.0 to 7.5. Below a pH of 6.0 (acid): Some nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are less available. Add soil nutrients with Compost Tea. Above a pH of 7.5 (very alkaline): Iron, manganese, and phosphorus are less available. pH can vary from one side of your gardening area to the other. Furthermore different plants require different pH levels so it is important to know the pH requirements of the plants and grow similar plants together.
There are many environmental factors that affect soil pH as well, the amount of rainfall, vegetation type and temperature can affect soil pH. Here are some general guidelines. Areas with heavy rainfall and forest cover have moderately acid soils. Soil in regions with light rainfall and prairie cover tend to be near neutral. Areas of drought and desert conditions tend to have alkaline soils.The pH of cultivated and developed soils often differ from that of native soil. During construction, for example, the top soil may be removed and replaced by a different type. Hence, your garden soil pH could be very different from your neighbor's.
Fast Easy Solution To Adjust Your pH
To Lower the soil pH (If your soil is too alkaline). In this case, you need to add a source of acid. Options include pine needles, shredded leaves, sulfur, sawdust and peat moss. Pine needles are a good source of acid and mulch. Peat moss with a pH of 3.0 is often recommended as a soil additive. Fertilizers containing sulfur / ammonium-N. Ammonium sulfate are commercial fertilizer. If soil pH needs to be raised ( the earth isn't alkaline enough), apply lime. Plant Garlic between your garden plants. Garlic adds sulfur to the soil. And keeps garden pests out.