Soil acidity is the reaction of the soil to the interaction of rocks occurring in the earth. It is of great importance when growing any cultivated plants. To determine the acidity, you can contact the agrochemical laboratory. But not everyone has this opportunity. How to determine the acidity of the soil yourself? There is a pH scale on which you can measure the response of the soil. If its index is 4.5, then the soil is strongly acidic, from 4.5 to 5.0 - medium acid, 5.5 and more - neutral. This indicator can be determined independently.
Determination of soil reaction using litmus indicator paper
How to determine the acidity of the soil yourself at home? For these purposes, specialty stores sell kits. They include 50 or more strips impregnated with reagents and a scale in a color image. It is used to determine the acidity of the soil independently. To do this, you need to take samples of land from different places of your backyard, and, moreover, the depth of their occurrence must also be different. Next, you should put the material in gauze, immerse in distilled water (4-5 of its parts on 1 part of the soil) and insist five minutes. Then the litmus strip is taken and lowered into a container with water and soil for a couple of seconds. On the color scale will be visible pH values.
You can do otherwise. Separate a part of the earth, pour distilled water into it and stir until a slurry is obtained. Insist 15 minutes and mix again. After about five minutes, the water will peel off from the ground (it should be clear). An indicator is placed into it, and the pH reading is taken.
The red color of the strip means that the soil is acidic, orange is medium acidic, yellow is slightly acidic, greenish is neutral. Determining the acidity, you will understand, you need to make lime in the soil to neutralize this reaction or not.
Rottinger Litmus Paper
The leader in the accuracy of determining the level of ph is the Rottinger litmus paper, which is not inferior to such an expensive device as the ph-meter. Included are 80 indicator strips, as well as a ph scale from 1 to 14, with which you can determine the acidity of the soil. This paper is universal and suitable for determining the acidity or alkalinity of any liquid. In order to determine the pH level, you need to lower for a few seconds one end of the strip into a vessel with liquid, and then evaluate the color of the strip and its intensity.
Unlike other litmus papers, Rottinger paper has a high degree of contrast, which allows you to more accurately measure the ph of the soil. When buying this paper, be sure to pay attention to the presence of a protective hologram, which is located on the package! The cost of such paper is about 250 rubles.
Determination of soil acidity independently
Each owner is on his own plot, and therefore is free to use any means to achieve the desired result. Quite common among gardeners folk methods of determining the pH of the earth.
- The first way. Cherry or currant leaves, three or four pieces, put in a glass container and pour one glass of boiling water. Wait until the water has cooled, and put a small lump of earth into it. When dyeing a liquid in red, the soil is acidic, in blue - slightly acid, in greenish - neutral.
- The second way. Determining the acidity of the soil by means of improvised means can be made by digging a hole 20-25 centimeters deep. All you need is a shovel. If the earth has a whitish layer, the soil is acidic. At any site there are pits and grooves in which water stagnates. If it has a rusty-colored appearance and its surface is covered with a rainbow film with a loose sediment of dark yellow color, it means that the soil in your area is strongly acidic.
- In order not to wrestle with how to determine the acidity of the soil independently, there is a proven method. This will require vinegar. Enough to water them the ground. If bubbles appear, there is no reason to worry: the soil is neutral. The mixture will sizzle at alkaline reaction. If vinegar is combined with water and a pinch of soda and the earth is poured with this compound, the reaction will proceed with a hiss, and foam will appear on the surface. In this case, we can conclude that the soil is acidic.
- Determining the acidity of the soil independently at home can be done with a glass of grape juice. For this you need to lower the land into it from the site. If the color changes or bubbles appear, the soil is neutral.
A device for determining the acidity of the soil
Many gardeners and gardeners trust technology more than folk methods. There is such a device - pH-meter, - with which the acidity of the soil is easily determined at any site. To do this, simply place it in the ground and record the pH reading, which is indicated on the instrument with an accuracy of tenths.
This procedure takes no more than one minute and does not require any additional devices, materials, substances. And most importantly, it saves time. The device is good and the fact that with it at the same time you can measure the level of moisture in the soil. This is of no small importance.
How does soil acidity affect plants?
Neutral soil has a beneficial effect on most cultivated plants. In soil with high acidity, root growth is deteriorating. This is due to the lack of nutrients to the plants. The acidic reaction of the soil reduces the protein and nitrogen content in them. There is a suppression of the conversion of sucrose.
Cultivated plants are more strongly affected by the acidic environment during growth. With its termination, they weaken. In addition, ferrous, aluminum and manganese compounds dissolve rapidly in acidic soil, which slows down plant growth.
Determination of soil acidity by weeds
This is a very simple, but not exactly accurate way. Determination of soil acidity independently by weeds can be done by observing the condition of your plot. The fact is that wild and weeds grow on different types of soil. If the area is overgrown with nettle, clover, couch grass, alfalfa, burdock or field bindweed, then the soil is alkaline.
Dense thickets of horse sorrel, bilus protruding, moss, horsetail, berry, Veronica oakwood, plantain, wood lice, mint, Ivan da Marya, thorns, sedges, fragrant bell, palmweed, creeping buttercup, daisy can be observed on acidic soil.
How to determine the acidity of the soil by the appearance of plants?
Very often beginner farmers wonder how to determine the acidity of the soil on their own. The easiest way, which does not require any investment, is observation and the necessary stock of knowledge. So, plants growing on soils with high acidity, are not enough nutrients. This affects the state of the leaves and the trunk.
For example, consider the table beet, which prefers alkaline environment. If its leaves are green and the stalks are red, then it grows on a neutral ground. When weak red streaks appear on the leaves, it can be said that the soil is slightly acidic. And if the tops become red, the soil has an acidic reaction.
How to determine soil acidity using chalk?
Buying land, each owner plans to seriously and for a long time to engage in the cultivation of cultivated plants. To begin with, a determination of soil acidity should be carried out. Even a beginner can cope with this on his own garden plot, and he will do it with minimal costs. Want to know how? To do this, you can use chalk, which certainly exists in every home. First you need to prepare a glass bottle and put a handful of earth into it. Then pour five tablespoons of warm water. Then add the crushed chalk - just one teaspoonful. Next, the neck of the bottle should be closed with a rubber fingertip.
It remains only to vigorously shake the bottle with all its contents so that the ingredients are well mixed. If the fingertip starts to straighten up, it means that a chemical reaction takes place between the acid in the ground and the chalk, which is alkali. This means that the soil in your area is acidic.
Determination of soil acidity using red cabbage
The leaves of this vegetable have the ability to change their color depending on the environment in which they are located: alkaline or acidic. Check for a reaction is performed as follows. Cabbage is cut into thin strips, which are placed in a pan, poured with water and cooked for thirty minutes from the moment of boiling.
Plain white paper is cut into 10 centimeter strips (in length). Their width is one centimeter. When the solution has cooled, it should be drained. Then the prepared paper is lowered into it for five minutes. When the strip is soaked with liquid, they are removed and put on the grid for complete drying. It turned out homemade indicators. Now the determination of soil acidity independently on the site can be carried out with their help.
We need to take one part of the land and three waters. Mix well and insist for half an hour. Strain the solution and drip on a homemade indicator. If its color has not changed - the soil in your area is neutral. The pink color of the strip indicates slightly acidic soil, and the red color indicates very acidic.
What soil do different plants prefer?
For the growth of various crops need a soil with a specific reaction to acidity. So, such plants as coltsfoot, bindweed, and clover are preferred to neutral land. From vegetable crops - cabbage, beets, onions, garlic.
Weak-acidic soil provides a good crop of cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, radish, peas, potatoes, radishes. They are perfect for roses, chamomile, chrysanthemum.
Sour soil fully provides nutrients to tomatoes, pumpkin, carrots, sorrel, parsley.
What determines the acidity of the soil?
Many plants are preferably planted in neutral soil. In it, they grow better. Acidity depends on the limestone contained in the soil. If it is not enough, it will be sour. And in it, plants digest the nutrients necessary for growth much worse. When applying fertilizer efficiency does not meet your expectations. In such a land, plants develop poorly, experiencing starvation. As a result, the yield decreases, and the quality of the product leaves much to be desired.
Lime soil is better in the autumn-spring period. Lime is thoroughly crushed. Its particles should not exceed one millimeter in diameter. Otherwise the lime effect will decrease. The prepared crushed rock should be scattered on the beds, carefully and evenly dig up to a depth of 20 centimeters. If lime is unevenly distributed over the area, it can destroy the plants. You can acidify the soil by watering it with a solution, for the preparation of which potassium permanganate is dissolved in water.
Types of soil acidity
During the analysis of the composition of the soil in the first place determine the indicator of its acidity, which is measured in pH (from the Latin pondus Hydrogenii - "weight of hydrogen"). The scale of acidity consists of 14 positions.
The scale of acidity will help you as accurately as possible to determine the pH of the soil on the site
Soil acidity is of three types:
- slightly acidic (soil, which is higher than pH 7),
- neutral (soil, which is equal to pH 7),
- acidic (soil lower than pH7).
How acidic the soil is is determined by the amount of lime in its composition. If the volume of this substance is small, the soil will be acidic, and vice versa.
Note! Even on the territory of one plot, acidity indicators often differ, sometimes even at a distance of 1 meter. It is recommended to take soil samples at least every 2 meters to get more accurate pH data.
Most cultivated horticultural plants prefer neutral or slightly acidic soil.
The simplest method of determining how acidic the soil is is using regular table vinegar. You only need to add a few drops of this agent to a handful of earth.
Regular table vinegar will help you with the determination of acidity.
Abundant foaming will indicate that the soil is alkaline. Neutral acidity of the soil will give moderate foaming, high will not show any reaction. So, you can plant plants in such a land without additional measures.
Use grape juice
Pure grape juice has high acidity, so it will also help you with the problem.
Due to its acid content, grape juice is a good indicator of acidity.
Dip a small lump of soil in a transparent container with juice and watch the reaction. When interacting with neutral soil, a reaction will occur with the release of bubbles and a change in the color of the liquid to a lighter one. Alkaline soil will give more abundant foaming, sour will not react to the interaction with the juice.
Try to use natural grape juice. The one that is sold in stores is heavily diluted with water, and besides it contains preservatives and stabilizers that will not allow you to get the right result.
A very simple and convenient method for determining acidity is the use of special indicator strips. They are available for sale in all specialized stores and even pharmacies.
Indicator strips are litmus paper with a reagent applied on it, which changes color when interacting with the medium depending on its pH level. The packaging is equipped with a color scale that will help you determine the acidity.
Indicator strips are very easy to use.
- Take a handful of soil and put in gauze, folded in 4-5 layers. Place in a container with distilled water and shake well, so that the salts and minerals from the soil can completely dissolve.
- Dip the indicator paper into the prepared water, hold it for a few seconds and reach. After some time, the strip will change color. Using the table on the package, you can determine the level of acidity.
Broth red cabbage, changing its color when in contact with the soil, will be able to show the level of acidity.
- Finely chop the cabbage, place in distilled water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid. It will have a purple color and a neutral pH.
- Pour the decoction into a glass and place a tablespoon of soil in it. Wait half an hour and inspect the liquid. If its color has not changed, then the acidity is neutral.
- Changing the shade to pink will tell about high acidity. It is all the more saturated with the juice color.
- Blue or green decoction indicates that there is a lot of alkali in the soil. The larger it is, the brighter the color of the liquid.
Red cabbage decoction is a good indicator of pH
Appearance of soil
The way the soil looks, can also help in determining its acidity. For example, pay attention to the water stagnated in the pits. The following signs will tell you about increased acidity:
- rusty shade of fluid
- presence of a rainbow film on the surface
- brown color on the soil after water absorption.
Another sign of acidic soil is whitish layers at a shallow depth.
Carefully look at the appearance of the soil: it can tell a lot about its condition
Note! The soil acidity can be affected by a variety of factors. It is recommended to check the pH level every season in order to timely implement the necessary measures to bring it to the desired indicators.
Ordinary weed grass will tell you how acidic the land is on your site.
Weeding the beds, pay attention to what weeds grow on them
On acidic soil grow well:
On subacid soils develop well:
Growth indicates a high alkali content in the soil:
With an acid meter
In specialized stores for gardeners and gardeners, you can purchase a special device - an acid meter that will help you to accurately determine the level of soil acidity.
- Dig a small hole 5–10 cm deep in the ground. Remove any foreign matter from it: twigs, weed roots, pebbles. Pour in distilled water so that it takes up the entire volume of the well.
- Adjust the acid meter, wipe its probe with a piece of clean cloth. Hold it in the hole for 60 seconds, then watch the readings.
- Take such measurements throughout the site, so you get the average value of pH. If all checks show approximately the same results, take the average figure as a basis to correctly adjust the acidity of the soil.
- If at a certain place in the garden the condition of the soil is very different, adjust the pH level only in this area.
Кислотомер — современное технологичное средство для определения кислотности почвы
Учтите, что во всех случаях проверки вода должна быть дистиллированной. Neither piped or talaya nor rainwater will not work: in all these cases, the liquid will contain impurities that will affect the final result. Boiled water is also not good - there are lime in its composition. Distilled water can be purchased at the pharmacy. If this is not possible, I will tell you how to cook it. Take a clean kettle (not electric, but ordinary, iron), fill with water, put on the stove to boil. Place another tank, also clean, close it and stretch a hollow tube between them. Steam from the spout of the kettle will condense on the tube and drain into the container. This is distilled water.
Video: methods for determining the acidity of the soil in the garden
Now you know how to independently determine how acidic the soil is in your garden. This is the first step towards high yield and fruit and vegetable cultivation. Perhaps you know some interesting ways to determine the pH of the soil? Share your experience with us in the comments. Good luck and good harvest!
Methods of determination
In how to determine the acidity of the soil on our own, we can be helped by signs, folk or scientific means. This can be done like this:
determine by instrument
use litmus paper
set by growing weeds,
define by folk methods
learn by the appearance of some garden crops.
Each of these methods can be used in your own area, only you need to keep in mind that in different corners of the soil can produce completely different reactions. This should be taken into account when planning the planting of one or another garden and garden crops, as well as in measures to deoxidize or soil the soil.
Reference! Soil deacidification is a way to reduce its acidity or increase the pH-reaction to the alkaline side, acidification, the reverse process, it makes the soil more acidic.
The gardeners walking in step with time have got used to trust technical means. So to determine the acidity there is such a device - a pH meter for the soil.
The meter consists of a probe that is stuck into the ground and a monitor that displays the level of the pH reaction. They can be connected rigidly or through a flexible conductor. Inside the device, of course, is more complicated, but why do we need to know about all kinds of anodes, cathodes, we need a visual result.
Such instruments for measuring the acidity of the soil are currently produced by many manufacturers: both European, and Chinese, and domestic. In order not to be accused of advertising, we will not name brands and mark their models for better or worse (and they don’t pay us for this :)).
Familiar from childhood litmus
Whoever remembers chemistry lessons from school can easily apply the well-known soil acidity meter - a set of litmus papers, the reference color scale of which is presented in the next photo.
Using the set is very simple, we tell step by step:
We take a sample of the soil and fill it with 4-5 parts of distilled water (sold in stores for motorists).
Tip! Simple water from a site from a well or water supply system is impossible, since it already has its own acidity indicators and may affect the test result!
Stir the soil in the mush.
We are waiting for the liquid to lighten, usually it takes 5-10 minutes.
We lower a strip of litmus paper in liquid.
We bring the colored paper to the reference scale and compare the degree of color, by which we determine the pH level.
If there is no scale at hand, you can memorize the reaction colors by heart:
If you are familiar with plant species, especially weeds, then you can easily find out what your soil is: acidic or alkaline. If in your garden you can sow seeds, regardless of the pH level of your soil, then in nature it does not happen, and each blade of grass rises only where it is most comfortable.
Based on the knowledge of what weed plants live on acidic soils, and which on alkaline or neutral, we can conclude about the soils of your site.
We list the plants that grow on alkaline and neutral soils:
Soil Acidity - How to Identify and Deoxidize
Sometimes soil analysis shows that there is a sufficient amount of nutrients in the soil, but plants do not develop. What is the reason? It turns out that one of the reasons is the accumulation of excessive amounts of free hydrogen ions in the soil as a result of chemical reactions. They determine the acidity of the soil. In an acidic environment, many vegetable and horticultural crops cannot grow and develop, since as a result of reactions, compounds are formed that are inaccessible for absorption by plant roots.
It turns out that the nutrients are present in the soil, but the roots of the plants "do not see them", begin to "starve", and therefore, stop growing and developing. A part of soluble salts is carried away by rain and melt waters beyond the limits of the plant root system, in turn, depleting the soil. Prolonged application of mineral fertilizers also acidifies the soil. The total impact on the soil of all negative processes will increase the acidity and, in this case, neither additional supplements, nor irrigation, nor other agrotechnical methods will help. The soil will need to deoxidize.
Determination of soil acidity and its deoxidation
What does it mean to deoxidize the soil?
The absolute majority of vegetable and fruit-berry crops grow well and develop only in conditions of a neutral, slightly acidic or weakly alkaline soil. Therefore, to create optimal conditions for the plants, the acidity of the soil must be removed, or rather, neutralized (the agrochemical term is deoxidized).
The indicator of soil acidity is influenced by the number and composition of chemical elements. The acidity level is indicated by the pH icon. The pH value depends on the amount and composition of chemical elements in the soil. According to the results of chemical experiments, it was found that nutrients are optimally available to vegetable and garden crops at pH = 6.0 ... 7.0. A soil pH of 7.0 is considered to be neutral. All indicators below 7.0 are considered acidic and the lower the digital designation, the higher the acidity. As well as acidity, the alkalinity caused by alkaline elements contained in the soil also affects the biological processes in plants. Alkalinity is reflected in pH values above 7.0 units (Table 1).
Those and other deviations from the neutral index indicate the degree of availability of certain elements to plants, which can decrease or, on the contrary, increase so much that the nutrients become toxic and the plant dies.
What does soil acidity affect?
The acidity of the soil affects the solubility, availability and uptake of nutrients by plants. Thus, on moderately acidic and acidic soils, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc, boron and other elements are more accessible and better absorbed by some plants. If the acidity is increased (pH = 3.5-4.0), instead of even greater absorption of nutrients, there will be an inhibition of the growth of the roots and the activity of their work, the plants will get sick from the lack of necessary nutrients in the organs. In strongly acidic soils, the aluminum content increases, which prevents the entry of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and calcium into plants. Substances that negatively affect the beneficial microflora begin to accumulate in the soil. The process of processing organics into humus substances and then into mineral compounds accessible to plants will practically cease.
The alkaline environment also significantly affects many biological processes. Prevents the absorption of certain macro-and microelements necessary for plants. Phosphorus, magnesium, boron and zinc become inaccessible to plants. In some plants, the reverse effect is observed: in an alkaline medium, the root system of plants intensively absorbs the applied mineral fertilizers, up to toxicity.
Experimentally, agrochemical studies have determined the optimal boundaries of soil acidity for different crops, decorative and flowering plants and flowering plants (Table 2). For vegetable crops, soil acidity is most favorable within neutral or slightly acidic (pH = 6.0-7.0).
Methods for determining soil acidity
When receiving a land plot in temporary or permanent possession, it is necessary to analyze the soil and determine its level of fertility, acidification, the need for treatment to reduce acidity, alkalinity, etc. The most accurate data can be obtained by submitting soil samples for chemical analysis. If this is not possible, it is approximately possible to determine the level of acidity at home:
- using litmus test strips of paper,
- on weeds growing on the plot
- a solution of vinegar,
- decoction of the leaves of some berry and garden crops,
- instrument (pH meter or soil probe).
Determination of soil acidity indicator paper
On the diagonal of the plot, dig holes with a smooth wall on the bayonet of the shovel. Over the entire depth of the straight wall, remove a thin layer of soil, mix on a film and take a sample of 15-20 g. Samples are separately mixed in a glass of water, allowed to stand and dip indicator paper in water. Together with the indicator bars on the package there is a scale of color changes with digital values. When changing the color of the strip (colors may be different shades):
- in red color - the soil is acidic
- orange - medium acid,
- yellow - slightly acid,
- slightly greenish - neutral,
- All shades of blue are alkaline.
For a more accurate determination of soil acidity, compare the color reading with a digital reading (on the package) indicating the digital pH value.
Determination of soil acidity by growing weeds
Determination of soil acidity by weeds
On acidic soils grow:
- horse sorrel,
- plantain large and lanceolate,
- Ivan da Marya
- wood louse
- bent thin,
- wild mustard,
- blue lupine
- buttercup creeping.
On alkaline prevail:
- wild poppy,
- field mustard,
- fluffy cleaner,
In neutral or slightly acidic soil, suitable for growing most garden and garden crops grow:
- field bindweed,
- field radish,
- field cornflower,
- meadow and mountain clover,
- meadow fescue,
- wheat grass
- stinging nettle
- soapworm drug,
- Silent wilted
- meadow rank,
- eryngium planum.
This definition is rather approximate, but it will show in which direction to carry out further work on the site. On the diagonal of the plot is recruited in separate containers for a handful of earth. Selected soil samples are poured onto the film and a few drops of vinegar (6 or 9%) are dripping. If a hiss is heard or the ground “boils”, bubbles appear - the soil is neutral and suitable for use without the use of deoxidation.
Grape juice (not wine)
This analysis can be done in early spring or deep autumn, when there are no green plants. In a glass with juice throw a lump of earth. If the juice has changed color and bubbles are released - the soil is of neutral acidity.
In a small container, a slurry of soil and water is prepared. Above it they add abundantly baking soda. There was a hiss - the soil was sour. The degree of acidity must be determined more accurately to take the necessary measures.
Correction of soil acidity at the dacha
Analysis of data on the optimal acidity of the soil under vegetable, horticultural and other crops showed that not all crops need neutral soil. Some plants normally grow and develop on slightly acidic and even acidic soils. If it is necessary to reduce or neutralize the acidity of the soil, then deoxidizers are used.
Soil deacidification can be carried out in the following ways:
- using sideral cultures,
- deoxidizing agents.
The materials used for soil deoxidation include:
- dolomitic (limestone) flour,
- lake lime (drywall)
- a piece of chalk,
- peat ash,
- wood ash,
- complex drugs-deoxidizers.
Soil deacidification with lime
Before proceeding with soil deoxidation, you need to zone the dacha area and select areas for the garden, berry field, garden, pharmacy bed, country house with outbuildings, a garage, a rest corner and others. Choose those that need to be checked for acidity. Conduct testing and, identifying the level of soil acidity of selected areas, proceed to the adjustment.
The most common deoxidation method is liming with hydrated lime-fluff, dolomite flour, chalk, lake lime (drywall). Depending on soil type and acidification level, limestone application rates vary (Table 3).
Table 3. Soil deacidification by liming
Liming of acidified soils is usually carried out on heavy soils in 5-7 years, on light ones - in 4-5 and peaty - in 3 years. The depth of liming captures 20 centimeter soil horizon. If lime is added to a lesser rate, then only 5-6-10 cm layer is lime. When making lime, it must be spread evenly over the soil surface. It is advisable to pour the soil after making. The neutralized soil will reach a neutral reaction in 2-3 years.
Lime is a hard deoxidizer and at a high rate applied to the soil, it can burn the young roots of plants. Therefore, lime lime is carried out under digging in the fall. During the autumn-winter period, lime will interact with soil acids and other compounds and reduce the negative impact on plants. In this regard, dolomite flour and chalk softer and safer for plant deoxidizing soil. They are safe to use for deoxidation in the spring, it is better - when closing moisture.
Lime is recommended for application on heavy clay soils. Dolomite flour and chalk more efficiently on sandy and sandy light soils. Dolomite flour enriches the soil with magnesium, potassium, calcium, and some trace elements. Drywall in its effects on soil deoxidation is more effective than dolomite flour.
Remember! Soil deacidification with limestone cannot be combined with fertilization. They are bred in time: deoxidation in the fall, fertilization - in the spring. Otherwise, superphosphate, urea, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate and other substances enter into compounds that negatively affect the availability of nutrients to plants.
Soil deacidification by adding ash
From ash materials for soil deoxidation, peat and wood (wood) ash is used.
Wood ash is a wonderful natural deoxidizer. The application rate for the main deoxidation is 0.6 kg / sq. m square. If it is used as an additional deoxidizing agent the next year after the main deoxidation performed by an incomplete norm, then the ashes consume 0.1-0.2 kg / sq. m. Wood ash must be applied in the fall and not to mix it with fertilizer. Being a fairly strong alkali, it enters into chemical reactions with soil nutrients, translating them into a form inaccessible to plants. Therefore, it is possible to deoxidize the soil with ash, but the harvest cannot be obtained for another reason.
Peat ash is much poorer in active ingredients that enter into chemical reactions with soil acids. Therefore, the dose of peat ash increase by 3-4 times with the main application and 1.5-2.0 times with additional. The rules are the same as in liming.
Use of green manures for soil deoxidation
Some gardeners use green manure crops to deoxidize the soil. One-year-old and perennial plants sown in autumn, with their deeply penetrating roots, push the soil, raise nutrients into the upper layers from the depths. Forming a large green biomass, they practically replace manure, which has deoxidizing properties. Of sideratov soil deoxidizing properties possess:
In general, all siderates, increasing the content of organic matter in the soil, contribute to the correction of soil acidity. You can read more about how to use green manures in the article “Which siderats to sow before winter”. The best preparation for keeping the soil at a neutral level in terms of acid content is the constant use of green manure. The soil will become fluffy, fertile, with neutral reactions without the use of deoxidizers.
Soil degradation by green manure
Use of prepared soil deoxidizing agents
Recently, complex soil deoxidizing agents have appeared on store shelves. They are very convenient, as they drastically reduce the amount of physical work. In addition, they contain, in addition to deoxidizing substances, also useful components that contribute to the improvement of the fertility of deoxidizable soils:
and other elements needed by plants during the growing season.
These drugs contribute in the fall under the digging, followed by watering. The neutral soil reaction is manifested in the 2nd - 3rd year.
For planting in the country or garden plot of any crop (whether vegetable or flower), you must know how to determine the acidity of the soil. Этот показатель зависит от количества находящейся в ней извести, если её недостаточно, уровень кислотности повышается. В случае повышенного содержания последней, корневая система многих растений развивается достаточно медленно, а усвоение питательных веществ происходит достаточно долго.Also, there is a suppression of microflora and slows down the processing of organic waste.
For the successful cultivation of many crops soil acidity becomes a determining factor. Sour soil is less fertile than neutral, so most vegetables and fruits in it often get sick. This indicator, with a great desire, can be changed individually for each plant. To increase or decrease the acidity of the soil, special fertilizers are applied.
Knowledge of the acidity level of the soil of the summer cottage helps gardeners to choose the best ways of tillage and it is beneficial to choose plants for planting. Determine it is not difficult, even with the help of available tools. There are several types of soil and methods of its deoxidation, or vice versa.
PH values of land on the plot
The acidity of the earth is measured in pH (from 0 to 14). Depending on this indicator, the soil is divided into the following types:
- Strongly alkaline (pH 8-9),
- alkaline (pH ranges from 7 to 8),
- neutral (pH is 7),
- acidic (pH below 7, for example, 4 or 5),
- strongly acidic (pH is 3-4).
What kind of plants like soil
Of course, if you purchased it in advance and you are holding a device called a PH-meter in your hands, then you should not bother. But for many it is missing, so.
Many garden crops love a different soil composition. For example, on a neutral ground grow well: beets, cabbage, clover, coltsfoot, onions, garlic, bindweed. Cucumbers, zucchini, peas and potatoes, as well as flowers: roses, chamomiles and chrysanthemums love the weakly acidic soil. Strawberries, tomatoes, pumpkins and carrots grow on the acidic soil. Also, parsley, plantain and sorrel love it.
Increased soil acidity is often an obstacle to the cultivation of certain crops. For the most part, vegetables love a weakly acidic and neutral environment. In the soil with low pH, cabbage affects the keel, beets - core rot, carrots - fomoz, and onions - neck rot. In addition, the onion increases the time of ripening. In general, some problems.
Watching the beet tops, we will see that if its leaves:
- Red, then this is the answer to the acidic soil,
- green, with pronounced streaks of red, means the soil is slightly acid,
- green, located on the stalks of red shades, means that the soil is neutral.
Also help determine the acidity of the earth hydrangea with white flowers, which are painted in pink shade on alkaline soil.
The litmus test is often used to determine the pH of the earth. It is purchased in a specialty store. Then we dig a small hole on the plot with a depth of 30 cm. From its walls we take 20 grams of earth and fall asleep in a glass. To it add distilled (it is possible and simple) water and mix everything well. Tape indicator paper placed in the solution. The result obtained is compared with the scale, which is drawn on the cover:
- Sour soil is characterized by a range of shades from yellow to pink,
- from light green to blue shows more alkaline primer.
Experienced gardeners, gardeners use the following method of determining the acidity: you should take 3 leaves of black currant, and then pour them with boiling water (1 cup). After the water cools, the leaves are mixed, and a lump of earth is dropped into the solution. If it turns red, the soil is strongly acidic. Rose water means the average acidity of the earth. If the solution turns green, the soil is neutral. Alkaline earth colors the water blue.
To determine the pH level is taken head red cabbage and finely chopped. The decoction of its juice and will serve as an indicator of the state of acidity of the land in the country. Put the chopped cabbage into distilled water and boil for 10 minutes. The broth (it will be purple) is filtered. Such juice has a pH of 7. To check the condition of the soil, its small volume is poured into a clean cup, and then half of Art. spoons of soil. After 30 minutes you need to check the color of the liquid:
- Violet - pH is 7,
- pink - the soil is acidic, the pH is between 1 and 6,
- green or blue means increased pH (from 8 to 14).
We also determine the acidity of the dacha soil by using a lime cocktail. To do this, pour a few tablespoons of ground into a bottle of a couple of tablespoons of earth. l (5) water. There we also place a teaspoon of chalk. Wearing an earmold on the neck of the tank, let the air out of it. Bottle wrapped in paper and shake.
If the soil in the area is acidic, then carbon dioxide is released as a result of a chemical reaction, and the fingertip swells up. In the case of slightly acidic soil, the fingertip should only be straightened by half, and in the case of neutral soil it should not be filled with gas at all.
These methods approximately show the condition of the soil on the site. By resorting to their help, we determine what actions need to be taken to improve the growth of plants. Every year the condition of the land on the plot changes. This occurs under the influence of a particular plant, fertilizers used, as well as methods of cultivation of the soil. Measurements to determine the acidity should be carried out every year.
How to deoxidize (increase PH) soil on the plot
If the garden turned out to be highly acidic soil, then for its liming chalk or dolomite flour is used. This process should be carried out locally. If the earth is alkaline, the plants are not able to absorb iron, manganese and other important elements. Some cultures do not like the newly zavedkovannoe soil, so for them the process is carried out in the fall.
If some cultures require an alkaline environment, and the soil at the site is acidic, there is a need for its liming. Each gardener has the opportunity to use the following materials for this:
- Push lime (quicklime) diluted with water,
- dolomite flour - its addition also improves the structure of the upper fertile layer,
- wood ash,
- plant siderat - phacelia.
On apt. a meter of land is added to a kilogram of 3-6 lime-fluff, depending on PH (downward). At the same time the area is not digging over, the substance is introduced by gumming. During the preparation of the soil for the winter garden does not mulch. Otherwise, it thaws too long. Dolomite flour is poured into the soil in the amount of 2-4 kg per square meter. meter. Wood ash will need about 4-5 glasses.
Phacelia is an annual plant. It is developing rapidly and this is the main thing that helps to neutralize acidity. Horticulture plant is used to combat the known enemies of the dacha: wireworms and nematodes.
Experts recommend choosing limestone. It stimulates the vital activity of beneficial microorganisms that enrich the soil with nitrogen. It is also important to take into account the composition of the soil. If it is clay, sandy or sandy, it will require a smaller amount of this material.
Monitoring the level of soil acidity is carried out every year. When making lime fertilizers, consider the following:
- The introduction of lime and nitrogen substances into the soil causes a loss of nitrogen,
- in the process of mixing lime and superphosphate, a hardly soluble compound appears,
- it is best to combine lime and potassium,
- if the additional substance is manure, first lime is applied and only after it organic fertilizer,
- chalking is held in the fall,
- to acidify the soil in the ground, Art. spoon of sulfur, as well as potassium sulfate and ammonium sulfate.
There are several actions that should be considered when determining soil acidification at the site:
- The measurement results should be recorded, because the indicators change over time,
- the soil must be taken from several parts of the garden,
- distilled water is required during all tests.
Following these tips, you can quickly and without effort determine the degree of acidification of the soil and take timely measures to create the necessary conditions for plants to grow normally.
Using alkalization or acidification of the soil, we create conditions for optimal growth and development of certain crops. Thus, plant resistance to diseases and pests increases.
Determination of soil reaction using litmus test paper
How can you find out the acidity of the soil yourself? You can go to a specialty store and buy a set. They contain about 50 reagent-impregnated strips with a color scale. To determine the acidity of the soil, take a little bit of land from each plot, use a different depth, so as not to be mistaken in the results. Next, put the material in gauze, then dip it all in distilled water (4-5 parts of it on 1 part of the soil) and insist about 6-8 minutes.
Next, take a litmus strip and place it in a container with liquid and soil for a few seconds. The color scale will show you the pH values after this procedure.
A red bar indicates that the soil is acidic, orange is medium acidic, yellow is slightly acidic, and green is normal. Based on the results, it is possible to determine whether lime should be applied to the soil to neutralize the acidity balance or not.
Determination of soil acidity by plants
On strongly acidic soils, as a rule, many plants such as horsetail, buttercup, horse sorrel, pansies, plantain grow.
On slightly acidic or neutral soils, one can meet a coltsfoot, nettle, clover, field bindweed or blackberry. However, one should not take this method as one hundred percent.
How to find out the acidity of the soil at home
To find out the acidity of the soil on the site, you can use the popular methods that use a lot of gardeners around the world.
1. One of the interesting ways to determine the acidity of the soil is the use of black currant leaves. Pour 250 ml of boiling water and a couple of leaves of black currant into the container, mix everything well and let it stand for about 30 minutes. Then add a little earth to your water tank. Blue water color means that the soil is alkaline. Red color means high acidity soil. Pink is medium acid and green is neutral.
2. For another way you can take a handful of soil and pour it with vinegar. The reaction of lime with vinegar should form carbon dioxide (CO2). Thus, if bubbles appear, then the acid-base reaction of the soil is normal, if nothing happens, then the soil is acidic.
3. You can dig a small hole about 20 centimeters deep. Carefully inspect the ground, if it has a whitish layer, then the soil is sour. Also on the sites you can find pits and grooves that contain water. If its color is rusty-colored, and the surface is yellowish or orange, most likely, the soil in the area is too acidic.
4. You can pour a little grape juice into a glass, then add a handful of soil from your site. When the water color changes or a bubble reaction occurs, the soil is neutral.
What substances are needed for soil deoxidation?
If you have defined your soil as acidic, then you can use ground chalk or limestone to normalize the acidity of the soil. Also, summer residents use lime-fluff or dolomite flour. In most cases, lime soil is used at the beginning of planting on the area of the entire plot or in planting pits. Typically, these stocks of lime plants lasts more than 3-4 years, and then you can again determine the acidity of the soil and work on the basis of the analysis.
Soil acidity is the reaction of the soil to the contact of the rocks in it. Getting into the soil, chemical elements create reactions that turn them into free ions. They are easily absorbed by the roots of plants. The acidic environment is the higher, the more remains after such reactions of hydrogen ions. In such conditions, soluble salts are quickly dissolved, and the metal content increases. The plant is gradually poisoned, it accumulates harmful substances, and is no longer able to eat and develop freely.
Gardeners make supplements, properly care for the planting, but they are not in a hurry to please the positive results in this situation. Therefore, it is important to determine the level of acidity of the earth in time..
- A pH above 7 will indicate an alkaline reaction.
- Neutral level is exactly 7.
- Below this figure, to 5, the reaction is weakly acid.
- Even lower, up to 4.6, is a moderately acidic soil.
- Up to 4.1 is considered highly acidic, and further down - very acidic.
There are cultures for which increased acidity is acceptable. For example, heather, lupine, hydrangea or rhododendron. But for most cultures, it does not bode well, as the plant becomes susceptible to diseases, the roots gradually die off.
In order to collect a good harvest at the end of the season, it is important to correctly determine the index in one of the ways and adjust the soil composition.
To reduce the acidity, it is necessary to apply neutralizing materials evenly on the surface of the soil. These are lime or dolomite flour, as well as chalk, lake lime, wood ash, silt, eggshell.
From 1 to 2 kg of means is necessary for square meter of the earth. The most effective way to handle the soil in the autumn digging.
Acidity does not change immediately, it happens gradually over several years. Every year it is necessary to monitor the indicator. And also it should be noted that neutralization should be carried out separately from the introduction of bait. Otherwise, the nitrogen in the fertilizer will also be neutralized.
Experienced gardeners know that the alkaline environment does not suit all plants. In such a soil is not absorbed some useful elements. To bring the level of acidity to neutral will allow the use of manure, compost or peat. Sulfur, superphosphate and ammonium sulphate are suitable for this.
The presence of certain unwanted guests of the garden plot will tell you what the soil is at this place. The acidity level from 3 to 4.5 will show the presence of the following plants:
- sorrel, preferring wet places,
- mosses, which also like abundant moisture, therefore prefer a shady location,
- lycopodium, which is an evergreen weed with a creeping shape of shoots,
- a belus sticking out, after dying out, a few years with its sticking leaves,
- Chamomile field, very similar to chamomile,
- crowberry, it grows in large groups in the form of spots on the soil surface,
- cotton grass vaginal, capable of growing up to 70 cm in height,
- mariyannik meadow, having a bare stem and leaves of a pointy form.
There is another group of weeds, preferring a less acidic environment. They grow in soil with an index from 4.5 to 6. These are the following plants:
- antennaria, or cat foot,
- wild rosemary marsh, which loves to coexist with birch and blueberry,
- bearberry, or bear's ear,
- oxalite mountaineer, it is often found in areas with an abundance of groundwater,
- oxalis, or acido.
The presence of the following plants indicates a weak acidity of the soil. Its level will be from 5 to 6.7. These are the weeds:
- hairy sedge, preferring to grow in the shade,
- male fern, or male fern,
- kupena, or Solomon's seal,
- bell broadleaf.
Neutrophilia is the next row of plants. They choose low acid or neutral soil. The level in such places ranges from 4.5 to 7. Such conditions are suitable for most garden crops.
- wild strawberry,
- meadow clover,
- pharmacy chamomile,
- cuff ordinary.
This method will allow to know the acidity of the soil on the site, but does not have certainty. There are situations when the presence of a weed is not a correct indicator, since its seeds could be brought in by birds or wind.
Another popular method also allows you to find out whether the soil is acidic or not. If you plant red beets on the plot, then in the fall they look at the tops. If grown in an acidic environment, the leaves will be red, and on weakly acidic soil they will grow green with red streaks.
Popular method with the use of conventional chalk. A handful of earth is placed in a glass container and poured with warm water in the amount of 5 tablespoons. Then enter a teaspoon of chalk. The neck is closed with a rubber fingertip. It is necessary to vigorously shake the contents. If the soil is acidic, a chemical reaction will occur, and the fingertip will begin to straighten.
The method allows to determine the acidity of the soil at home, but gives an approximate understanding of the level. Apply some types of acids. The method is based on the interaction of chemical elements:
- Acetic acid. First you need to take a handful of earth from a depth of about 20 centimeters and scatter it on a hard surface. Watering acid, you need to monitor the reaction. On neutral or alkaline soil there will be a slight seething with bubbles and hissing. A sour soil will not give any reaction.
- Grape juice. Only natural product containing a large amount of acid is used. Store juice will not show a reaction, or it will be minimal. В стакан наливают жидкость и помещают туда комок земли. Если она кислая, то реакции не последует. Щелочная и нейтральная почва даст лёгкую пену. Будут заметны пузырьки, а сок поменяет свой цвет.
- Соляная кислота. Необходимо выкопать яму на глубину около метра. Следует 5% соляную кислоту тихой струёй лить вдоль стенки. At a depth of half a meter, the present lime will show itself with a hiss, some boiling will be noticeable. If there are no changes, the soil is acidic.