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The Benefits of pH Testing

  Knowledge of your soil's pH can influence the health of your plants and their continuing growth.


 What is Soil pH ?

It is a measurement of the relative acidity or alkalinity of the soil, providing a guide to the overall chemical balance of the soil.

The pH scale is divided into 14 points:

· A pH of 7.0 in considered neutral
· A pH above 7.0 is considered alkaline
· A pH below 7.0 is considered acidic


 Why is pH so important ?

 · Soil pH is an important factor in plant growth because pH determines the

availability of soil nutrients to plants.


 · Plants do not grow well outside the range of 4.5 - 8


 · The availability of nutrients differ with the pH level
   - Calcium and magnesium are much more readily available in alkaline soils
   - Iron and manganese are much more readily available in acidic soils
   - Most nutrients available in relatively neutral soils (pH 6-7.5)


 · Plants preferring certain types of soil are often starved of important nutrients or

damaged by unwanted minerals.




Acid loving plants growing in alkaline soils are often starved of

important elements. (eg: iron and manganese)




Alkaline loving plants growing in acidic soil often cannot access
    sufficient calcium and magnesium or are severely damaged by amounts of dissolved aluminium or manganese.


 Potting Mixes & pH

 · Ideal pH range for potting mixes is between 5.3 and 6.5 although acid loving plants

prefer a range nearer 4.5 to 5.5


 · Potting mix used for a considerable time should have its pH level checked frequently.
 · Salts remaining after using ammonium based fertilizers quickly accumulate leaving the
  mix too acidic for continued optimal growth.