If your soil is too acidic, your plants will grow poorly or they will even die. To find out if your soil is acidic or not, you can use a simple pH meter.
What is pH by the way? That is the percentage of hydrogen in the soil. The percentage ranges from 3.5 or below up to 9.0. If the pH is 3.5 or lower, that is ultra acidic. That’s what we learned from reading a booklet published by Zetryl Chem Phils., Inc. titled “Complete Plant Nutrition With Stress Management Technology.”
What happens when the soil is too acidic? That could lead to aluminum poisoning. The aluminum in the soil is liquefied by the acidity of the soil, giving way to the roots to uptake it leading to aluminum poisoning.
When the pH is below 4.0, the hydrogen ions which protect the root cell membranes are destroyed and therefore can not effectively absorb nutrients from the soil (NPK and micronutrients) even if these nutrients are present in the soil.
The soil needs at least 5.5 to 7.5 pH reading to be able to make good use (optimum uptaking) of the macro and micronutrients present in the soil.
(Editor’s Note: This is just the first simple but very useful eye-opener from the booklet published by Zetryl Chem. Watch for the next postings. We’ll feature more about pH, like fertilizer wastage when the pH is not right.)