For favorable plant growth, suitable soil is needed. One of the key indicators of soil mixtures is considered acidity. This concept is used to conduct agrochemical analyzes of substrates, as well as to describe the characteristics of their components (for example, turf land, peat, humus and other components).
What is soil acidity?
The acidity of the soil is determined by pH. Using it, you can set the content of hydrogen ions in the soil. It is because of the suitable acidity that the plant receives the necessary macro and micronutrients. At a certain pH level, the soil can be neutral, alkaline and acidic.
Throughout its life, a representative of the flora grows in a particular soil, constantly changing its acidity. Accordingly, the more intensive the agriculture in the plot, the more it is oxidized. Neutral soil (pH 7.0) is one of the most favorable for plants.
If representatives of the flora grow in acidic soil (pH less than 5.0), then nutrients cease to be absorbed by biological organisms. Moreover, the effect of fertilizers is not observed, and the action of beneficial bacteria slows down, or completely stops.
If the plants are in alkaline soil (pH greater than 7.5), then they slow down their development, which affects the leaves, they begin to turn yellow due to a lack of iron (trace element is simply not absorbed).
Determination of acidity
There are several methods that can help determine the acidity of the soil:
- Litmus paper is a universal tool that is very simple to use. The tester needs to take several soil samples, after which they should be placed in dense tissue. The material should be dipped in water (preferably purified) and after five minutes, dip the litmus paper there. After 2 seconds, the result will be visible. Paper under the influence of a liquid changes its color (an acid scale is attached to the product).
- The popular method is to put a small amount of soil on a glass surface. Further, the resource is poured with vinegar (9%). If the reaction manifests itself in the form of foam formation, this means that the soil is alkaline; if the bubble mass is very small, then the soil is considered to be neutral. The absence of foam indicates an acidic upper layer of the earth's crust.
- Expert opinion - often the condition of the soil can be assessed visually. So, areas with high acidity have a whitish hue, clover or alfalfa grow poorly on them, and moss sprouts remarkably. In acidic soil, weeds, whitebeard, pike, creeping buttercup and other plants feel great.
To understand what soil is on your site, you can grow beetroot. With increased acidity of the soil, the vegetable will have red leaves, with a neutral one - green leaves with reddish stalks, with alkaline - veins on leaves of bright shades.
Manufacturers have developed special instruments to help measure soil acidity. These devices are inexpensive and will save the owner of the site from time costs and complex procedures. The devices are equipped with a long probe, which allows you to deeply penetrate the soil and check the acidity at different levels. If you need to know the condition of the soil once, buying a device does not make sense.
What should be the acidity of the soil?
It is important to understand that each plant is individual, and all species need different soil acidity. Nevertheless, neutral soil is considered the most favorable option (and acceptable for many species of flora representatives) (pH is in the range from 7.0 to 7.3).