Archive

Category Archives for "Vegetable Garden"

How To Use Soil pH Tester

A soil pH tester determines the soil acidity or alkalinity of a garden. The tester will establish whether the soil is acidic (below pH 7), neutral (pH 7) or alkaline (above pH7).

There are many ways of testing the soil pH. The most accurate measure is scooping various little samples of soil from the same portion of land, packing them differently and taking the samples to a laboratory for pH testing. The samples should be well marked to know from which part of the garden, they were taken.

 You can also determine the pH yourself using either pH indicator test strips, or electronic pH meters. But if you don’t have any of those, you can use baking soda and vinegar.

What is the pH of My Soil? – How to Determine

You need a spade and room temperature distilled water and your soil pH tester. Distilled water is recommended because it has a neutral pH and therefore it will not tamper with the results by either adding to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.

 Dig a small hole in your garden. About 10cms deep using the spade. Then pour the distilled water in the hole to make a muddy soil solution. If you are using an electronic pH tester, wipe it with tissue paper before inserting it into the mud. Give it about two minutes before reading the results on the meter.

Take Different Measurements

Take about six different measurements of pH in the same garden. When you are done, add up all the pH levels and then get the average by dividing by six. But if the results differ greatly, then you won’t do averages. The results will be an indication of the soil pH of different parts of your garden.

 Use the same procedure if you are using pH indicator test strips. Just dip the strips in the muddy holes to determine the pH. After about 30 seconds, clean the pH strip paper with distilled water and now check the color to determine the pH level of your garden.

Using Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you are using baking soda and vinegar, take a soil sample and divide it in two. Put the two portions in two different containers. In the first container, add vinegar. If the mixture fizzes, it means the soil is alkaline with a pH above 7.

If it doesn’t fizz, then make a muddy solution out of the other soil sample by adding distilled water to it and mixing it up. Then add baking soda to the muddy solution. If it fizzes, then the soil is acidic with a pH below 7. If there is no reaction, then the soil is neutral with a pH of 7.

The pH scale range is from zero (0) to fourteen (14). While pH Seven (7) is neutral, any solution with a pH exceeding seven is alkaline, and any pH figure below seven indicates an acidic solution.

 That should give you a rough idea of the pH of your garden.

What to Keep In Mind When Testing

Soil pH is affected by many factors including the kind of plants currently growing on it, fertilizers used, soil type, the pH of the irrigation water, climate and weather among other factors.

Soil pH is tested so that you can have a more accurate way of making various gardening decisions.

Soil pH determines whether plants will get nutrients from the soil or not. By having the pH level of your garden, you will be able to tell which plants can thrive in your garden and how to improve the condition of your soil to enable plants to grow well.

 You will be in a better position to decide on soil pH adjusters, fertilizers and supplements to best suit your garden.

Can pH Be Measured In Dry Soil?

pH can only be used as a measure for liquids and solutions. There is no method of determining the pH of powders, solid or semi-solid particles in their form. They first have to be formed into a solution before the pH is taken.

 Dry soil can be categorized as being a powder. It first has to be made into a muddy solution using room temperature distilled water, before the pH can be taken.

The Accuracy of Soil pH Testers

pH testers only provide an approximation. Using a professional may produce more accurate results or taking a sample of the soil to a laboratory to have it tested professionally.

But basically, you don’t need very accurate pH levels if the information will be used to decide what plants can grow in your garden.

An indication of how acidic or alkaline is a good enough measure to help you make planting decisions.  This is because most plants do not require a very particular pH to thrive but grow in a wide pH range. 

But if your intentions are so that you can change the soil pH, then it is recommended that you have the pH professionally tested.

It is also important to get professional assistance in how to go about changing the pH status of your garden.

 Worth noting that, changing the pH of a soil is quite some job and takes time and resources. After determining the pH, of your soil, it is much easier to check which plants are best suited for that pH and grow those plants.

How Do Soil pH Testers Work?

You can either do the testing of the pH of your garden yourself, or you can get a professional to do it. It mainly depends on why you want to know the pH of your garden.

pH is a determinant of the acidity or alkalinity of solutions. Measuring the pH of a solution involves determining its hydrogen ion concentration. An acidic solution has high concentrations of hydrogen ions and therefore a low pH. While an alkaline solution has a low concentration of hydrogen ions and a high pH.

 Soil pH testers only provide a range of the likely pH of the soil but not accurately. They will help to indicate whether the soil is either very alkaline, slightly alkaline, neutral, slightly acidic and very acidic.

Using pH Testers in Your Garden

It depends on how big the garden is. The pH may not be uniform over the entire garden area. The only way to know this is by dividing the land into portions and testing the soil pH for each portion of land and recording it down. Then mark which part of your garden is alkaline, acidic or neutral.

Final Thoughts

It’s always important to be aware of the pH conditions prevailing in your garden. That way, you can have an easier time knowing which plants to introduce to it and which ones to do away with. It’s our hope that the information shared above will make it easier for you to do that.

Author Bio

Rosita is a passionate gardener who often writes blogs on gardening topics and trimmers in general.

Smart Ways To Save Money Growing Vegetables And Herbs

Growing your herbs and vegetables can get pricey after you build the beds, add the dirt, and get all the accessories necessary. It might feel impossible to grow a garden when you have a super tight budget and can’t afford all of the “necessities.” We will discuss more about ways to save money growing vegetables and herbs in this post.

Living on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t grow veggies and herbs. Growing your own food should save you money, not blow a hole through your already tight budget. So, are you ready to save some money while growing vegetables and herbs? Keep reading!

Continue Reading

Aphids On Broccoli And Other Common Diseases On Broccoli You Should Know

Aphids, as well as other pests and diseases, love broccoli plants, and all the members of the brassica family. Member of the Brassica genus includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, and collards. We will discuss more about aphids on broccoli on this post.

Aphids are typically referred to as plant lice, and they can become a major problem when they find plants they love. Aphid colonies can damage or kill entire crops, or they might transmit viral diseases to your cucumber and tomato plants. It is important to learn how to kill aphids naturally, and how to prevent infestations.

Continue Reading

Planting In Zone 5: What To Plan In The Spring

Spring, specifically the middle of April onwards, brings about the gardening season for USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5. I look forward to these times of the year when I can start to plant seeds and cool-weather crops. Spring is the time for you to prepare your garden beds and soil, plant your vegetables and crops, and look forward to the warmer, summer weather that brings a bountiful harvest. So planting in zone 5: what to plan in spring that I will share more details on this post.

Continue Reading

Getting Rid Of Cabbage Worms! Try Those 10 Tips To Save Your Plants.

Did you see pretty, white butterflies around your garden? Those pretty butterflies turn into cabbage worms and destroy your crops. Cabbage worms feed on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, eating the base of your plants or the heads of broccoli. These pests love to munch on foliage, eventually destroying all of your plants aside from the stems and large veins.

Don’t fret; there are several, natural methods for getting rid of cabbage worms in your garden.

Continue Reading

Homemade Fertilizers That Can Save You Money

Fertilizers are necessary for your garden. Soil frequently needs a boost in nutrients throughout the year. Plants deplete the nutrients each year as well. The great thing is that you don’t need to run to the store to get fertilizers. Your pantry and backyard are full of materials that make for perfect organic fertilizers. In this post we will discuss about homemade fertilizers that can save you money and also those fertilizers are good for your plants.

All fertilizers in the stores are labeled with their content of the three major plant nutrients. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (N-P-K) are all necessary for proper plant growth. Organic, natural fertilizers have lower levels of N-P-K, but that allows you to change how much you apply and the frequency of applications.

Continue Reading

3 Easiest Mushrooms To Grow At Home That You Should Know

Are you looking into growing mushrooms for your own personal consumption or to start a business? Are you unsure about what mushrooms you should grow as a beginner?

Although mushrooms seem to pop-out on forest floors or dead logs, it can be challenging to grow them especially when you are trying to grow different types of mushrooms.

There is a way to increase your chances of growing mushrooms at home or in your own backyard. This is by selecting specific types of mushrooms that are easy to grow. Below is our list of the easiest mushrooms to grow.

Continue Reading

Growing Zucchinis: Easy Tips For A Bountiful Harvest

Zucchini plants are a classic summer addition to the garden. Almost everyone adds a zucchini plant or two to their backyard. Even those with a black thumb seem to have success with zucchini plants. Growing zucchinis is relatively easy.

I chose to grow zucchini plants in our very first garden. I didn’t think it would be too hard. For the most part, zucchini plants grow faster and produce a large harvest. I remember my parents growing zucchinis along the fence near our driveway. They grew so large that my dad couldn’t drive to the end of thedriveway without damaging the plants. My mother made him park in the front of the house until fall!

Continue Reading

How To Easily Create A Zucchini Trellis

Zucchini plants take up a long portion of your garden with their sprawling leaves. If you have a garden with limited available space, you have to worry about the zucchini vines taking over other plants. Surprisingly, you can learn how to use a zucchini trellis to conserve space and keep your plants healthy.

Zucchini plants require air circulation and maximum sunlight. Zucchini trellis allows the plants to stay healthier. Plants that are off the ground are less prone to diseases, mildew and rotting. Taking care of your plants are easier when they are on a trellis. When you want to economize your garden space, training your vines to grow vertically in the earlier stage of development makes sense. However, training a zucchini plant to grow up a trellis does take some time.

Continue Reading

Want To Know When To Harvest Zucchini? Find Out Here!

Zucchinis remind me of summertime. As a child, I remember picking zucchinis with my mother in our large garden, along with harvesting huge pots of green beans. Now, as an adult, I take my kids outside to harvest zucchinis. Zucchini plants tend to grow rapidly, which always made me wonder when to harvest zucchini.

Everyone has a different answer. My plants allowed their zucchinis to reach massive sizes. As a kid, I remember using them as bats. My husband’s parents prefer to pick their zucchinis when they are smaller. Everyone has a different preference. Do you?​

Zucchini is different than other plants in your garden. Once established and the flowers start to blossom, the fruits grow rather quickly. It isn’t strange for a zucchini to grow a foot in only a few days. Blossoms appear quickly!​

Continue Reading