Sweetening the soil

Sweetening a soil is another way of saying reducing its acidity. It has three benefits.

First, lowered acidity increases the range of plants you can grow. The nearer a soil is to neutral the greater the number of different plants that will flourish in it.

Next, as the soil becomes less acid, some of the essential plant foods – nitrogen, phos­phorus, potassium, sulphur and calcium -become more readily available, and plants will therefore grow stronger and healthier.

Third, reduced acidity encourages ben­eficial soil microorganisms to operate more effectively and to multiply better. Under acid conditions, soil bacteria are sluggish so that a lot of unrotted organic matter can build up in the soil, and with it an increased risk of soil-borne diseases.