Soil pH - Knowledgebase Question

Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Avatar for egn1086
Question by egn1086
January 26, 1998
Do certain vegetables do better at a certain pH? I will be planting seven or eight different types of vegetables that I have started from seeds. I bought a home soil pH test kit but am not sure what plants and vegetables do better in what pH. Can youhelp? Do you have any tips on changing the pH of the soil if it happens to be a factor in how well my vegetables will do?

Answer from NGA
January 26, 1998
The term pH is the method of expressing the amount of soil acidity or alkalinity. In general most common vegetables, field crops and flowers do best on soils that have a pH of from 6.5 to 7.

Potatoes and strawberries do best with a more acid
soil of from 5.0 to 6.5. If there is plenty of organic matter in the soil most plants will do fairly well if the pH is a little higher or a little lower. A few plants, such as azaleas, camellias, gardenias, and blueberries do best on a very acid soil.

If your soil is too acid apply 3 to 5 pounds of dolomitic limestone per 100 square feet three months prior to planting. Most Florida soils are acid and you should not have to worry about your soil being too alkaline. In the event that too much lime was used in the past, and the alkalinity is too high, agricultural sulfur can be used to lower the pH.

I would re-test the soil each year, to be sure it is in the proper range.

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