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Types and Soil pH Indicators That Show Fertility

The Importance of Fertile Soil pH for Plant Growth

There are various determinants of soil fertility. One of them is the potential of hydrogen or soil pH. For that, it is necessary to understand the pH of fertile soil so that the growth and development of plants is also guaranteed.

You must understand several things if you want to know the soil pH indicator. But first, understand some of the functions of soil pH and its types.

Important Functions of Fertile soil pH

Soil pH indicator is one of the important factors that indicates soil acidity or alkalinity level. Soil pH levels affect the availability of nutrients for plants and the activity of microorganisms in the soil. Apart from that, there are several other functions that you should know. Here is the list:

1. Nutrient Availability

You need to know the pH of fertile soil plays an important role in the availability of nutrients for plants.

In optimal pH, there are important nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and micronutrients such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) to dissolve well in groundwater.

Water-soluble nutrients can be taken up by plant roots more efficiently. So it supports healthy plant growth and development.

2. Microorganism Activity

Microorganisms in soil are also influenced by pH. Soil with a fertile pH tends to support healthy populations of microorganisms. These microorganisms play a role in the decomposition of organic matter, the decomposition of plant remains, and the nutrient cycle in the soil.

Optimal microorganism activity will help increase soil fertility by breaking down organic matter into simpler organic matter. Then it can also convert nutrients bound in an unavailable form into a form that plants can use.

3. Soil Structure

Soil with the right pH tends to have a good structure: stable soil aggregates and pores. If the soil structure is good, water and air movement to the plant roots will also be good.

This allows plant roots to reach nutrients and water more effectively, increasing plant productivity and root growth.

4. Stress of Disease

A balanced soil pH can also help suppress the development of plant diseases. Some plant diseases tend to develop better under certain pH conditions.

Plants can have a better defense system against disease and pathogenic infections by maintaining a fertile soil pH. Thus increasing productivity and plant quality.

Soil pH Range Important for Fertility

Soil pH ranges can vary depending on the type of plant you want to grow. However, in general, several pH ranges are considered ideal for most plants. The following are soil pH ranges that are important for fertility:

1. pH neutral

Soil is said to have a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.8. This number is the ideal pH or what can also be called the pH of fertile soil containing organic compounds, and microorganisms until the optimal nutrient conditions.

2. pH Assam

Soil with a pH between 6 and 6.5 is still considered fertile and suitable for most plants. This range tends to support the availability of good nutrients for plants, including important nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Usually, peat soil has an acidic pH level. Some farmers usually reduce acidity levels before planting. So they can plant according to what they want.

3. pH Base

Lastly, there are islands, which are usually located in coastal areas. Usually, this soil contains higher levels of sodium, magnesium ions, potassium, and calcium. These conditions are, of course, not ideal for planting. Usually, it must be applied as gypsum lime to neutralize the soil pH.

Types of Soil pH

Based on the pH range, soil pH can be grouped into several types. The following is a list and explanation:

1. Acidic Land

Acidic soil has a pH below 7. The common pH range for acidic soil is between 4 and 6. Acidic soil is often found in areas with high rainfall.

Usually, acidic soils tend to have low nutrient availability for several important nutrients, such as calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P). To fertilize this land, usually there will be a liming process. So that the soil pH can rise to ideal levels.

2. Neutral Ground

The next type is neutral soil, with a pH of around 7. This pH shows that the acidity and alkalinity levels are balanced. Therefore, it includes a fertile soil pH.

Neutral soil tends to be fertile soil because the nutrients contained in the soil are readily available to plants. For this reason, soil with a neutral pH is the ideal growing medium for most plants.

3. Alkaline Soil

Lastly is alkaline soil, which has a pH above 7. The general pH range for alkaline soil is between 7 to 8.5. Generally, alkaline soil is found in areas with dry climates and low irrigation levels.

Alkaline soils can have problems with the availability of certain nutrients, such as iron (Fe), which tends to become unavailable. Soil acidification by using organic materials or special fertilizers can help reduce alkaline soil pH.

Choosing the Right Soil Fertility Test

When testing soil fertility, you must first pay attention to your goals and needs and consult a trusted service for testing. Here are some commonly used testing options:

1. Soil pH Testing

Testing soil pH is important to determine the soil’s acidity or alkalinity level. It provides basic information about the balance of nutrients in the soil and helps determine remedial measures to obtain a fertile soil pH that may be needed.

If you want to be clearer about how to test the pH of fertile soil, you must use soil fertility testing services the best.

2. Macro Nutrient Analysis

This test involves measuring the content of main macronutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the soil. The analysis can provide an overview of the availability of important plant nutrients and help in proper fertilizer management.

5. Micro Nutrient Analysis

Meanwhile, micronutrient testing involves measuring the content of nutrients such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and boron (B) in the soil.

Micronutrients are required in small amounts but are essential for healthy plant growth. Micronutrient analysis helps identify deficiencies or excesses of micronutrients that may be affecting plant growth.

6. Determination of Cation Exchange Capacity (CTC)

This test measures the soil’s capacity to retain and release cations, such as calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), and sodium (Na). CTC information helps understand the soil’s ability to provide plant nutrients and helps plan appropriate fertilizer use.

7. Soil Texture Testing

This test involves determining the composition of soil particle fractions, such as sand, silt, and clay. Soil texture analysis helps in understanding the soil’s drainage, water retention, and nutrient exchange capabilities.

You need to carry out proper soil fertility testing and analysis. There is no need to be confused because you can do it using a service SUCOFINDO. You can use soil fertility testing services. We are a series of activities to analyze micro and macronutrients in agricultural and plantation soil samples.

That’s how to find out the pH indicator for fertile soil. You can immediately do a soil test and complete information by visiting SUCOFINDO!

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