Acidic soil refers to soil that has a pH level that is less than 7. That basically means that, soil that is below 7 on the pH level meter is acidic. When it comes to soil pH levels the lesser the pH level the greater the acidity level. Acidic soil is considered to be “sour”, whereas its opposite alkaline soil which has a pH level above 7 is considered to be “sweet”. You took a soil test and discovered that your soil is acidic, well that should not stop you from growing plants anymore. A number of vegetables, flowers and flowers actually prefer and grow well with acidic soil.
What causes the soil to become acidic?
Organic matter and minerals are basically acidic in nature. When the organic matter breaks down and the material starts to decompose that causes the soil pH level to acidify. Organic matter promotes microbial activity by microorganism that also causes the soil to acidify. Moreover, some plant growth produces organic acids into the soil that acidifies the soil.
The use of chemical fertilizer causes the soil to become acidic. Chemical fertilizers with high nitrogen synthetic are ammonia based, the continuous application of this fertilizer increases soil acidity.
Leaching because of irrigation, excessive rainfall or excessive watering causes the soil to become more acidic. Excessive water washes away all the important nutrients like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Lack of these nutrients causes the soil pH level to drop, which in turn causes the soil to become acidic. Additionally, rainfall is already slightly acidic in nature.
Plants that like acidic soil
Acidic soil is actually ideal for some plants. Interestingly, acidic soils plants are usually the most wanted and common plants for example blueberries like acidic soil. There is an endless list of acidic loving plants that is plants that thrive and prefer acidic soil. What plants like acidic soil? Plants from major plant grouping that is vegetables, shrubs, perennials and bulbs like acidic soil. Acid loving plants list is endless, therefore l am going to mention just a few of them;
There are beautiful to look at and have a great taste too. Most ideal fruits to plant in acidic soil. They love and thrive in acidic soil. There are a great addition, as you can use them to make your own homemade jellies and also eat them fresh. With a few blueberry bushes, you will be producing delicious berries year after year, as it is a perennial plant.
A great choice to plant in acidic soil. Marigold beautiful yellow blooms brighten up, be it your garden or yard. They provide color and vibrancy to a garden that would otherwise end up being dull without them. These eye catching marigolds are also good at preventing pests from your garden.
Are hydrangeas acid loving plants? Hydrangeas are acid loving plants. Acid soil promotes them to produce beautiful blooms that come in a variety of shades like pink, purple, blue and white. In acidic soil the color of the blooms changes to wide range of beautiful colors. Season after season you have the privilege of having different colors from one plant.
It’s an interesting vegetable with a sweet flavor. There are a great option, to use acidic soil, especially to a garden that only has acidic soil. Rhubarb loves lower pH soil level. You only have to plant it once and for the years to come you will be enjoying your sweet rhubarbs year after year.
Dogwood is a tree plant that thrives in acid soil. It is beautiful, it produces colorful pink, red and white blooms every spring. The leaves also produce a burst of different colors, in fall they have purple leaves and then in summer they have emerald green leaves.
Are roses acid loving plants?Yes roses love acidic soil. But the soil pH levels has to be slightly acidic. They prefer acidic pH level of 6.8. Slight acidic soil allows roses to get major nutrients which are essential for their growth.
How to make the soil more acidic
- By sprinkling coffee grounds under the shrubs increase the soil acidity level. The coffee grounds ensures that the pH level is kept down every time.
- You can use a gallon of water with a solution of 2 tablespoons of vinegar several times to water the plants. This is ideal for container plants.
- Sawdust and shredded leaves are great for the soil. When these material decompose they make great organic material that reduces the pH level and acidifies the soil.
- Acidic fertilizers help to raise acidity levels. Fertilizer with ammonia nitrate makes the soil more acidic. For example, miracid soil acidifier makes a good acid fertilizer.
- By adding an inch or 2 of sphagnum peat around and onto the topsoil. This should be done especially during the planting period. This is another easy way to make your soil more acidic.
- You should always check your soil pH level, so that you can know whether it is acidic or alkaline. You can test by using an electronic pH meter, vinegar or litmus paper. Testing the soil will also help you know your soil nutrients levels.
- Research about the plants pH preference before planting. That would help you help choose acidic soil plants.
- Just because the soil is acidic does not necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. Soil pH levels can be converted from acidic to alkaline and vice versa to suit your plants preference.
- Always regularly check for weeds in your garden, they determine whether the soil is acidic or alkaline. Weeds like buttercup, dandelion and nettlesthrive in acidic soil.
Having acidic soil is not necessarily a bad thing. It is actually a good thing, a blessing in disguise in fact! Acidic soils have good water holding capacity and a good soil drainage system. Different major plant groupings like vegetables, shrubs and bulbs do well in acidic soil. What are acidic loving plants? Well acidic loving plants are simply plants that thrive and prefer acidic “sour” soil not alkaline “sweet” soil. However, it significant for you to know your soil pH level. It is necessary for you to test your soil regularly to determine whether it is alkaline or acidic, as soil pH level changes almost after every season. Knowing your soil pH level will help you grow the right plants in the right soil. It will also help you to grow healthier plants every season.