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Back to Basics - How to Make Healthy Soil!
Clean Up Your Dirt For Healthy Soil!
You've heard the term pH - right? What does pH mean or stand for? Well...pH stands for 'power of Hydrogen'. It's a scale from 0 to 14 that measures amounts of Hydrogen with 7 being neutral or balanced. At 7.1 and up will find more alkaline in the soil, while 6.9 going down is acidic.
By testing your soil, you will learn your starting point to work towards putting your soil in balance. Don't try to do this in one season - it's a process and should be done over several years. For most gardens, a soil reading of 6.0 to 6.9 is good.
Get a soil test kit that measures the pH in your water, too. Some gardeners forget that water has its own pH value and can alter the soil's pH, too.
Next you're going to be testing for N (Nitrogen), P (Phosphorus) and K (potassium or sometimes noted as potash). These 3 elements, N-P-K are the composition of nutrients in fertilizer.
Be sure to record your water, N, P, and K test levels. With this information, you're now prepared to clean up your dirt to make it healthy.
A fertilizer blend of 12-12-12 means that there is 12% formulation of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium equally. So...if your soil is lacking in Nitrogen, but in the safe zone for P and K, you would choose a fertilizer blend such as 12-0-0.
There are so many choices at the hardware stores now that you can be very specific in what plants you're growing. There are special blends for tomatoes and vegetables, evergreen shrubs & trees, azaleas, lawns, and the list goes on.
Hardware stores are a valuable source for fertilizers and bags of compost for your raised beds. Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware are my faves - plus they're usually locally owned. They should be open as they are essential businesses. Give them a call - maybe they're offering deliveries in your area.
Bell pepper plants are back in stock, plus we've added Jalapeno Pepper Plants, Yellow Squash Plants, Zucchini Plants, Okra Plants and Cauliflower Plants. Still stock in our other vegetables - Eggplants and Tomatoes.
It's time to plant vegetable plants and get growing! We're watching orders so that our northern customers orders will ship in a few weeks when it's safer.
We're sad to say that there are some states that prohibit vegetable plants from shipping into them. They are CA, HI, MD and TX for all vegetable plants. Also, for tomatoes add AK and for peppers add NJ, NC and NV.
It's Spring - Let's Get Growing!
Your Friends in Gardening,
Cheryl and Steve