Test your soil before you begin planting your garden. Before planting your garden this spring, if you haven’t already, test your soil before anything else. This way you know beforehand what is missing in your soil so it can be treated instead of having to correct other problems.
Soil testers can be purchased at most home improvement stores, garden centers, or ordered online. Soil is best prepared with organic matter with a low nitrogen fertilizer with a phosphate base. Remember, nitrogen makes things green. Nitrogen makes things grow. Using too much nitrogen will make your tomato plants the envy of your neighbors, but you will be mooching from them because your huge, lush and beautiful tomato plants won’t produce much fruit.
It’s been too busy growing only the plant!!! Too much nitrogen makes the plant grow, but doesn’t make the plant produce blossoms.
TOMATOES PREFER A SOIL pH of 5.8 – 7
(Note to self: The lower the pH, the more acidic the soil.)
If your soil is between 5.8 – 7, you are good to go! No additives necessary. If the soil is too acidic, (BELOW 5.8) lime should be added to increase the pH. Lime can be purchased at any home improvement store or garden center.
Benefits of Lime:
- it increases the pH of acidic soil (the lower the pH the more acidic the soil); in other words, soil acidity is reduced and alkalinity increased.
- it provides a source of calcium and magnesium for plants.
- it permits improved water penetration for acidic soils.
So, save yourself some time and effort and test your soil. You will thank yourself come harvest time. You won’t be solving problems. Instead you will be picking more fruits and veggies.