Having the floor or very basic or very acidic in our garden is a serious problem. If we do not correct it, we will see most of the plants dry for no reason (or yes) and we will have headaches wherein the end we will have to adjust to the range of plants that do support the pH values of the soil. Can it be corrected? Let’s see it.
The basic floor
A primary or alkaline soil has a high pH. Recall that greater than 7 in the pH value would be considered essential ground. This structure of high pH (above 8.5) gives the soil low infiltration capacity, a weak structure and a slow permeability, which will be summarized in flooded land. In these types of terrains the following deficiencies usually appear:
The acid soil
An acid soil will be one whose pH presents values lower than 7. When the nature of our land is acidic, the following mineral deficiencies may occur:
How can we correct the pH of the soil?
The buffer capacity of the soil is impressive. This means that vast amounts of mineral compounds are needed to correct the value a little. This is reduced to considerable economic costs, depending on the surface of our garden. It is only recommended to carry out these actions when there are unsustainable, very basic or very acid soil pH values, where the development of the plants is complicated.
Correct soil acidity
We can use two elements to perform a pH correction. On the one hand, there would be quicklime and on the other, limestone. Different quantities are applied according to the product, so we are going to put it separately.
These values are the result of raising the pH values provided, for a soil depth of 15 cm and one hectare of crop. It is recommended not to climb above 6.5 and do it stepwise:
- If the potato is grown, the most advisable value is a pH of 6.
- If the soil is poor, it is recommended to go from 0.5 to 0.5.
- If the soil is fertile, it is possible to increase this value to 7 and bring it to neutrality.
To make these applications, we will have to take advantage of the fact that the soil does not have crops. In general, there are two distinct eras: autumn and spring. In the case that it is decided to add lime to the land in spring, a minimum margin of 1 month should be left between the lime and the sowing of the crops.
Correct alkaline soil
Let’s see the acidifying elements as well as the amounts to add in our terrain:
Sulfur: when we add sulfur to the ground, it slowly oxidizes to sulfuric acid. It is often used a lot because of its reduced price. Amounts of 0.5-1 kg of sulfur per square meter lower the pH, which will be measured with pH meters until the desired value is obtained. Its effect is slow, so every half year we will check the acidity of the soil to see if we have to add sulfur again.
Iron sulfate: this compound gets acidify the soil faster than sulfur. It is applied by irrigation water and in quantities of 2-4 grams of iron sulfate per liter of water. The specific dose to lower the pH 1 degree is 4 grams per L of water, although it is advisable to apply it in adjustable quantities, to reduce the pH of the soil little by little.
Organic matter: organic matter is rich in components that acidify the soil. In the case of blonde earth, for example, it has a pH of 3.5 (very acidic). Generally, for the price, natural manure is used, in quantities of 10,000-30,000 kg/ha. Vast numbers but that will also provide nutrients to your crops.
In any case, to know the pH of the soil initially, you can help with economic pH meters in the land such as the ground meter or the usual pH strips.