If the garden is not happy with the crops, and vegetable crops wither and wither even with the right care, you should think about what kind of soil you have in the garden. To determine its composition will help plants-indicators - the usual weeds that are ubiquitous.
Plants of different species prefer to grow on the soil of different composition - depending on the amount of mineral substances contained in it and the level of acidity (pH). Choosing plants for your site, this must be remembered.
Cornflowers and clover indicate that the soil is acidic, poor in calcium and nitrogen, but rich in potassium and phosphorus.
How to determine the quality of the soil in the garden
The knowledge of the composition of the soil in our garden is very important for the correct application of fertilizers. It may turn out that the plants do not need at all those fertilizers that we apply to the soil, as there are already enough of them. And an excess of minerals is no less harmful to plants than their lack. But how to determine which soil prevails on your site? You can, of course, carry out its chemical analysis, and you can observe which plants and places prefer to settle.
We are talking about wild weeds with clear preferences regarding the composition of the soil. These weeds grow only where there are certain conditions for their life. Look at the plants that prevail among "your" weeds. Do not make serious conclusions on the basis of observations of single specimens that can grow anywhere. But if the plants, which we conditionally called indicators, grow in large quantities, look strong and healthy, it can be argued that they grow on their “favorite” soil.
Soils rich and poor in nitrogen
Nitrogen is one of the main minerals that plants need most in spring and early summer. Considering all the beneficial properties of this macrocell, it is still necessary to determine how much it is in the soil, so as not to overdo it with the introduction of nitrogen fertilizers before the start of the season.
The fact that the soil is rich in nitrogen, indicate the following plants - nettle, chicory ordinary, motherwort ordinary, smyt, zvezdchatka average.
Indicate the lack of nitrogen: tricolor violet (pansies), white clover, plantain lanceolate, common heather.
Phosphorus and potassium in the soil
Not less than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are important for plants. Fertilizers containing these chemical elements are mainly used in the fall, as they help the plants survive the frosty winter.
The fact that the soil contains significant amounts of potassium and phosphorus is indicated by the presence of meadow grass and white clover.
A bent, fragrant spikelet, a meadow grassy (pike) testify to the lack of these minerals.
Calcium content in soil
If the land in our vegetable garden contains a lot of calcium, then the following weeds willingly grow on it - kakorysh, willow thistle, mac-seedling, larkspur field, field thistle, mustard field, yellow alfalfa, common ground, adonis spring, or goricvet.
In turn, the land, poor in calcium, is signaled by the following plants - sparrow sorrel, silver silverweed, tricolor violet, blue cornflower, field chamomile, pharmaceutical chamomile, trioblet (chamomile) odorless.
Determine the acidity of the soil
To determine the reaction of the soil, or its acidity (pH), you can use a chemical field acidometer (pH meter). The tip of the electronic device must be deepened into the ground, and the result will be displayed on the board. There are simpler ways, when a handful of earth is watered with a special reagent and according to the description of the reaction taking place, as well as the level of acidity on the scale determines the level of soil in which it is painted. Acid meters are cheap, you can buy them in special garden stores, but if the device was not at hand, plants will come to the rescue again.
This "litmus test" can be called a garden hydrangea, or large leaf. The higher the acidity of the soil, the more blue hydrangeas become. And on a bed with an alkaline pink flowers bloom.
Attention - this principle does not work in the case of white hydrangeas or plants with greenish inflorescences, and the hydrangea does not change its color. It should be borne in mind that if you transplant a hydrangea into the ground along with a clod of earth from the container in which it was purchased, the plant will “show” the acidity of this particular soil. If your hydrangea is not growing yet, in this case wild indicator plants will give a hint again.
- How to make the hydrangea change color?Bored with the pale pink color of the room or garden hydrangea - read our tips on how to change it to a rare blue. Or vice versa.
On acidic soils (with pH below 7) white clover, sparrow sorrel, tricolor violet, common heather, lingonberry and bilberry, spring thorns (Morrison), horsetail, buttercup will grow well.
On alkaline soils (pH above 7), plantain is more common than others, white is clear, field yield, dymyanka is medicinal, machoseca, spurge multicolor, St. John's wort, stinging nettle.
Clay and sandy soils: looking for differences
To distinguish clay from sandy soil, you should take a closer look at the earth itself and conduct a simple “study” of its structure. Handle a handful of damp earth with your fingers (like clay), and then roll a ball out of it. If the earth is plastic, viscous, it is well molded, it means that it is clay. And the more sand in its composition, the stronger it will crumble. However, here you can resort to using plants.
On clay soils, they willingly grow: field mustard, burdock (burdock), quinoa sprawling.
But they like sandy soils: tricolor violet, small geranium, unnoticed mallow, gold seedling (chrysanthemum).
- 5 attractive perennials for sandy soilA selection of spectacular perennials that grow well in sandy lands.
The most preferred soil for most plants is humus-rich. The fact that it is such a soil that prevails on the site is indicated by the two-leaved myannik and a fragrant bedstraw growing here.
You may notice that some indicator plants appear in several categories. This follows from the fact that different soil properties coexist with each other, for example, sandy soils, as a rule, have high acidity. Therefore, the tricolor violet, which grows on scanty, sandy and acidic soils, is a plant indicator of soils of different nature.
It is enough to look at the usual weed plants that spring blooms in the lawn near the country house, in order to understand what nutrients the soil in the beds that you have built nearby and what nutrients the earth contains in excess. So you, of course, do not change the nature of the soil radically, but you can determine how it should be cultivated to wait for a good harvest in the fall.
Based on e-ogrodek.pl