How and how to deoxidate the soil in the garden in spring
The quality of the crop is affected not only by the sun, watering and fertilizers, but also by far less obvious factors. Because of the composition of the soil, chemical processes change, and some fertilizers do not work at all as you expect. High acidity is harmful to microorganisms that provide fertility and structure. We specifically found out how and how to deoxidate the soil in the garden in the spring!
Determination of soil acidity
Increased rates can be suspected for indirect reasons. For example, if there is a lot of sorrel, horsetail, woodlice, moss or other “sour” weeds everywhere. At the same time, vegetable and fruit crops grow weak, grow poorly and produce poor crops.
The easiest and most accurate way is to determine the acidity of the soil with a litmus test - you don’t need to be a chemist. For research, take a spoonful of earth from different places to make an objective picture. Wrap a handful of cloth and pour clean water in equal quantities. Five minutes later, dip the litmus into each vessel and use the scale to determine the result.
An interesting folk method is a beetroot indicator, because the color of its tops works no worse than litmus. Red leaves grow on acidic soil, green with burgundy veins - on weak acid, and green - on neutral.
Take a neutral glass container (not metal), pour a spoonful of soil into it and drop it with ordinary 9% vinegar. The principle is the same as with the extinguishing of soda during cooking. The abundance of foam indicates an alkaline reaction, and hence alkaline soil. Nothing foams and does not bubble - it means the land on the plot is acidic.
When is it best to deoxidize the soil?
The soil on the site can be deoxidized in the spring before planting or in the fall after harvest. It is better to carry out the procedure twice, because during the year under the influence of fertilizers, rains and other external factors, pH values change, so you need to monitor them regularly. Especially in the spring, when nitrogen fertilizers are actively used to build green mass.
How to deoxidate the soil in the garden
Deoxidation of the soil is a much simpler process than it seems by name. You do not need any chemicals or special additives, because the most common components are used - ash, lime, chalk. Most of them you either have at home, or you can buy them at hardware stores.
It is not for nothing that ash is considered a good fertilizer and it is recommended to add it to the soil after nitrogen. But keep in mind that it will be needed a lot, and the mineral composition varies depending on which species of wood are burned. For example, the amount of calcium is sometimes doubled.
To cope with the high acidity of the soil, ash will need a lot - up to one and a half kilograms per square. And if it is ash from the grass - then twice as much. Therefore, we recommend using it not for treatment, but as a useful prophylactic to prevent acidification of neutral soil.
Lime deoxidation is the most common and most effective method. It is used in different variations: slaked (fluff), key, ground limestone, drywall. You can not use only clean quicklime, because it crumbles and accumulates in the soil.
Lime is quite aggressive and has a bad effect on the content and absorption of phosphorus. Therefore, it is often used in the fall, so that natural processes have time to stabilize. But in the spring it acts quickly, so we recommend introducing it under fast-growing crops, such as cucumbers and tomatoes.
A little fluff is applied at 200-500 g per square, the higher the acidity of the soil - the more. Ground limestone - from 200 to 400 g, if it is light loam and sandy loam, or from 350 to 600 g, if it is medium or heavy soil. You can not add lime with manure, because so much nitrogen is released due to the reaction that it will harm the seedlings.
Gypsum has one significant advantage over other deoxidizers. It begins to act directly under the influence of acid, not water. Gypsum immediately lowers the acidity of the soil and freezes until it grows again. Then he “wakes up” and begins to act again.
On a weakly acidic plot, 100-200 g per square meter is needed, on an acidic plot - 300, and on an acidic one - 400 g. Be sure to evenly distribute the powder and then dig the earth. This is a rather gentle method that does not directly affect seedlings.
Soda is a very popular folk recipe, but experienced gardeners do not recommend using it constantly. Sodium accumulates in the soil and directly affects seedlings and crops. Therefore, use soda only as a one-time emergency measure, if you need to correct the situation urgently.
Dolomite is not inferior to lime in effectiveness, but it is much more convenient to work with it and it contains magnesium. It is introduced in the spring right before planting or already in season as necessary. Dolomite flour is especially good for heavy clay soils, because it loosens them and improves the structure. Consumption - from 300 to 500 g per square, depending on the level of acidity.
A piece of chalk
Chalk is simple and cheap, but harder to work with. It is too sensitive to moisture and requires special storage conditions. It must be very carefully mixed into the soil so that nothing gets stuck in lumps, and the texture is homogeneous. But it contains calcium and can be used at any time of the year. Consumption - from 200 to 700 g per square.
Some types of plants themselves are a good deoxidant because they lower the pH level. They are called green manure and are planted in early spring before sowing the main crop. Such crops include lupine, peas, phacelia, mustard, alfalfa and clover. Many of them additionally repel parasites and pests: especially mustard.
The stores have specialized preparations for deoxidizing the soil. They are also good in spring, because they help to quickly put the soil in order before planting. These are mainly humus and lime based products with additional useful trace elements.
What plants like acid soil
Most horticultural crops do not tolerate acidic soil, but most are not all. In the garden, an apple tree, Japanese quince and many berries calmly belong to it. For example, lingonberries, raspberries, blueberries, blueberries, cornel, strawberries or cranberries.
Increased acidity like birch trees, which are generally extremely unpretentious to problematic soils. And these are conifers, ferns, heather, rhododendron, hydrangeas and azaleas. The moderately acidic soil is suitable for potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, sorrel and chicory.