The Q&A Archives: Soil Acidity

Question: In my vegetable garden I typically plant tomatoes and peppers. I also typically use mulch to keep the moisture in my garden. Last year, I found that my tomatoes produced fruit, however, it was cracked and not very abundant. In addition to that, my peppers did not produce well in the least. The question is one of acidity. Will mulch make the soil of my garden to acidic to yield produce? Also, what is the tolerance of acidic soil for tomatoes and peppers? Tracy Shtatman Vienna, VA

Answer: Tomato and peppers will tolerate soils down to pH about 6.0. If you're soils are too acid for them, you should see nutirent deficiency signs suc has yellowing leaves, stunted growth... Have a pH test done to determine your soil's acidity. The cracking of the fruits is more likely due to moisture fluctuation. Mulching is a good idea and shouldn't contribute to the soil's acidity. Keep the plants evenly watered this year and the soil fertile. Hopefully they'll grow better.

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