Soil pH: Getting to the Root of Plant Growth

Soil. That brown, sometimes dusty, sometimes muddy, stuff from which your plants and grass grow is a carefully balanced micro ecosystem teeming with life. Packed full of nutrients and microorganisms, healthy soil is key to creating plant growth. These nutrients and microorganisms require a very specific environment to grow and feed plant life. At the heart of this environment is soil with a proper Ph factor.

 

What is pH and why does it matter?

Soil pH describes the acidity or alkinity of the soil. pH is expressed through the pH factor, numerical scale ranging from 0.0 (acidic) to 14.0 (alkaline) with 7.0 as the value indicating neutral (neither acidic or alkaline). A simple soil test can easily determine your soil’s pH factor. The pH factor will show if your soil is too acidic, has too much alkinity, or is somewhere in-between. The pH factor is important because it influences factors related to plant growth, such as: bacteria (both good and bad), nutrient leaching (the loss of nutrients), availability of nutrients, toxicity, and soil structure. Most lawns and household plants grow best in soil that is slightly acidic to neutral (approximately a pH factor of 5.5-7). If the soil test results show a factor outside this range, you may struggle with the health of your soil and ability to grow grass and plants. Luckily, soil pH can be fixed!

 

How to correct your pH

There are several products available with the ability to increase either the alkinity or acidity of soil. These products include: lime and dolomite, that can increase alkinity, and ammonium sulfate and sulfur, to increase acidity. Understanding proper application of these additives depends heavily on soil type (sand, silt, clay, etc) and your total square footage. Over application of lime and dolomite can cause complete loss of acidity, while overapplication of ammonium sulfate and sulfur can burn plant roots. It is truly a balancing act!

 

Humic DG

Our favorite product to better soil pH is a soil conditioner known as Humic DG. Humic DG is a granular comprised primarily of dry humate and micro sized humric particles. Humic acid is a natural occurring soil conditioner. It has a unique carbon-based matrix that includes high concentrations of both trace minerals and organic acids. Humic acid increases a plant’s ability to absorb essential nutrients while improving soil structure. It also can stimulate beneficial microorganisms which can improve the pH of your soil long-term. Humic DG provides all the benefits of humric acid in an easy to spread, biodegradable form. It is highly soluble in soil and works effectively to foster an environment encouraging plant growth and nutrient absorption. Humic DG is the must have for well-conditioned and balanced soil.

 

The crew at Country Club Landscaping are soil experts! Through our soil services we provide the testing, products, and applications needed to foster soil ideal for plant and lawn growth. If you struggle with growing healthy grass and plants our soil services are only a phone call away!

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