Soil is the fertile ground where plants grow as well as is a key component in the growth of many food products. Soil contains living organisms called “microbes,” which help plants break down dead plants and other plant matter and turn them into food.
Soil is a finite resource. We have paved over large parts of our country in recent decades, and the soil underneath is now contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins. This damage not only threatens our surface drinking water sources, but the soil itself can also become unstable. In places with hard, rocky soil, like Colorado, we can still grow vegetables, but the produce is lower.
Check the pH level of your soil first
Soil is one of the most crucial factors for successful gardening. Poorly drained, acidic soil can kill your vegetables, particularly delicate crops like tomatoes, corn, and peppers. Many gardeners add lime or (more commonly) sulphur to affected soils but check the soil’s pH level first for the best results. A soil test from a reputable gardening service will tell you if your soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline and can help you make the appropriate adjustment.
Determine whether you need to raise the pH level
If you are noticing some issues with your soil that are affecting your plants and vegetables, and you want to make sure if your pH level is in the right bracket, then you will need to do a test to check and see. If it comes back at lower than 7.0 then your soil has turned acidic, and you will want to check out how adding lime may be beneficial in keeping your vegetables and plants healthy and growing (more on that below).
Wood ash is probably something you have been meaning to use in your garden but have been too afraid to try. The fear of adding too much wood ash to your soil is unfounded, as wood ash is great for improving soil health. Ash has acidic properties, which make it beneficial for neutralizing soil’s alkalinity and can provide crucial nutrients for your crops.
When added to your soil, Lime can help make it less acidic. Acidic soil is soil that retains nutrients, preventing their absorption by plants. It also causes some plant diseases, which makes proper soil acidity especially important. Lime is basically a compound made of calcium carbonate and oxides. It is commonly used in agriculture as a soil conditioner.
A review of a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that adding limestone to your soil may aid in its ability to retain nutrients, which in turn could help your soil maintain its fertility and yield plants more nutritious fruit. It can also increase the pH level of the soil just like normal lime.
Whether you are an avid gardener or just starting out, it is important that you take on board how to best tend to your garden to produce great results that can keep your greenery looking beautiful all year round.