Do you have a garden and want to make sure your plants grow healthy and strong? If so, then you need to learn about pH levels in soil. pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. Most plants prefer soil that has a pH level of 6.5-7.0. If your soil is too acidic or alkaline, your plants will not be able to absorb the nutrients they need from the soil, which will cause them to become weak and unhealthy. In this blog post, we will teach you how to lower pH levels in soil with vinegar!
Why is soil pH so important?
As we said before, pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The pH scale varies from 0 to 14, where 0 is the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline. Most plants prefer soil with a pH near neutral, which means a pH of about seven.
Very acidic soils are dominated by the following minerals nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, manganese, and others. All of these can negatively affect the plant itself, preventing it from absorbing beneficial substances from the soil. As a result, a deficiency of nutrients begins, the plant begins to starve, the growth of bacteria, fungi and harmful microbes takes place.
For some plant species, including trees, a neutral pH in the soil can be a problem. The fact is that in such soil there will be a lack of iron, which is especially important for some trees, such as oaks.
Precise pH scale in soil
An accurate pH scale in the soil is important for optimal plant growth. After all, the ideal pH range for most plants can be different, which is important to consider before planting any particular plant.
An accurate soil pH value chart:
- 0-6 refers to an acidic environment in the soil;
- 6.5-8 refers to a neutral soil environment;
- 8.5-14 refers to an alkaline soil environment.
Before planting any plants or trees, be sure to do a soil pH test. To do this, it is enough to buy a tester in a gardening store, which is very easy and convenient to use.
What is vinegar?
Vinegar is a popular kitchen ingredient that can be used for cleaning, cooking and even as a natural weed killer. It is made by fermenting sugar and yeast. The result is the release of ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. If the method of fermentation of the solution is organic, then there is a reaction with oxygen and bacteria in the air, which results in vinegar in the form we are familiar with.
In fact, this process is quite subtle and complicated. There are many techniques for making vinegar, which also use methanol. In different creation processes, you get your own kind of vinegar with its percentage of acidity.
Preparing vinegar to lower the pH of the soil
You can’t just take store-bought vinegar and pour it into your soil. This will not only kill all the plants at once, but it will make the soil itself unusable for several years. It is important to follow these instructions:
First, choose the vinegar you need for your soil treatment. This is done by calculating the current pH value of the soil. Do a soil test first and then purchase the bite. Regular table vinegar has a pH of about 2.7%, white vinegar is 5%, and special garden vinegar is 20%. The latter is the most potent, so it is very important to follow the rules for its use given in the instructions;
Take distilled or tap water, be sure to measure its pH, and then add from 2 to 9 tablespoons of vinegar to it, so that you get the value you need for your soil (based on the test data of the soil itself);
How do I treat the soil with vinegar?
Once you have prepared the vinegar solution, it is time to start treating the soil. Water the plants with this solution very carefully so as not to burn the roots. Do not forget that it is a powerful remedy, and use it only according to the instructions or an experienced gardener. This is as far as special horticultural vinegar is concerned. If you have made a solution according to the above instructions, you can treat the soil with it as follows:
- Pour the solution into a watering can and gently pour all the soil in which you want to lower the pH level. Don’t stay in one place for too long, watering with the solution should be uniform;
- You can also pour the solution into a garden or vegetable garden irrigation system. But here it is important that the system has no scale inside, because the vinegar can react with it, which will then have a negative effect on the soil itself;
- During treatment, periodically check the pH of the soil and monitor the results. It is important to stop immediately when you see the value you want.
Features of lowering the pH of the soil with vinegar
- It is very important to remember that you cannot lower the pH of the soil with vinegar by more than three points, otherwise all the plants in your garden or vegetable garden will die. So you must lower the pH gradually and carefully, which will take some time.
- In addition, this method can only be used for annual plants, because a sharp decrease in acidity drastically reduces the level of nutrients in perennial plants, and they begin to wither and become ill.
- Vinegar solution will not only help to lower the pH in the soil, but can also fight the weeds that are in your vegetable garden. After all, vinegar is an organic herbicide.
- Remember, if you have a lot of lime in your soil, vinegar won’t be able to help lower the pH of your soil. That’s because lime neutralizes the effect of vinegar.