Our expert horticulturist Malachy has shared his advice on how to test your soil pH. pH controls the availability of almost all essential plant nutrients, making crucial to successful plant growth.
For this reason, knowing whether the soil is alkaline or acidic is important when planning and planting your garden because different plants require different types of soils to grow.
The pH of your soil is a number that indicates how acidic or alkaline it is. pH 7.0 is regarded as neutral. Below 7.0, a soil is considered acidic, and above 7.0, a soil is considered alkaline.
Malachy’s recommendation when it comes to figuring out the pH of your soil is to use a soil testing kit. Some plants, such as cauliflower and sprouts tend to like an Alkaline (limey) soil while others, like potatoes, like a neutral pH. You can use garden lime to adjust the pH pf your soil to suit the conditions required by your desired plant.
For advice on how to use both the testing kit and the garden lime, check out out YouTube video linked above, where Malachy talks you through both in detail.
How to Care for Acid Loving Plants
Some plants love an acidic compost (also known as Ericaceous compost) to grow in. Here are Malachy’s top tips for getting the most from these type of plants:
- Know what plants are acid loving – Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Heather are some plants that thrive in acidic compost.
- Know what soil type is in your garden – Test your soil using the tips Malachy shared in the previous video, using your soil testing kit.
- Treat acid-loving plants with the correct feed type – Using this feed about once a month is best to keep your plants healthy and happy in a soil of the right pH.
To hear Malachy talk you through Acidic plants, see the video below!
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Gardman Soil pH Testing Kit
Testing kit to test the PH of the soil in your garden
Granular Garden Lime 3kg
Vitax Granular Garden Lime is a soil conditioner to sweeten and improve the drainage of heavy clay soil
Westland Ericaceous 50L
Westland Ericaceous Planting and Potting Mix has been specially developed to give gardeners the ideal medium for lime hating plants.
Miracle-Gro Ericaceous Liquid Plant Food
Miracle-Gro Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Liquid Plant Food is a concentrated liquid plant food that ensures stunning flower displays for all acid-loving, ericaceous plants.