Watching your neighbors working less than you do on there gardens and having a healthier and more productive garden can be frustrating. The reason can be a simple one. With a simple soil test you can have the thriving garden you always wanted and with a lot less work.
The ph level of your gardens soil is very important in having a healthy and productive garden, flower, herb, vegetable and water garden. It can be the main reason your plants do not grow as healthy and productive as you wish they would. Soil testing is a commonly overlooked part of gardening that a lot of home gardeners are not even aware of it's importance.
The "ph" is a measure of your gardens soil acidity or alkalinity. All plants, in your garden or yard, has an ideal soil pH range that it will thrive in. This ideal level can vary from plant to plant. If your garden soil is out of balance from the ideal ph range, the important nutrients and minerals your plants need can become locked up in the soil, and there root systems wont be able to absorb them.
The three common terms used for describing the ph levels are sweet, sour, or bitter. Sweet is when the soil is the mid level range, or ideal pH level for most plants. Sour is when the soil is acidic, having a low pH level, some plants thrive on a slightly acidic soil and bitter is when a soil is alkaline, or having a high pH level.
The ph level scale runs from 0 – 14, 0 being low or sour, 7 being sweet or mid-range and 14 being bitter or high.Garden soil that falls in the mid-rage of the ph scale is the ideal condition for bacterial growth in the soil that promotes the decomposition of organic matter. This process of decomposing is what releases the nutrients and minerals for plants to absorb. Another process that happens when the ph level is at mid-range is the growth of soil microorganisms that convert nitrogen from the air into a form that the plants can benefit from. Not testing your gardens soil and letting the ph level get out of balance will greatly effect the way these two very important natural processes can benefit your organic garden
Do not forget your house plants, soil in pots need to be tested just like your garden beds do.