How to Balance pH for Geum (Avens): A Step-by-Step Guide

Geum, also known as Avens, is a beautiful flowering plant that thrives in slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Maintaining the proper pH balance is crucial for the health and growth of your Geum plants. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to test, amend, and maintain the ideal pH level for your Geum (Avens).

Step 1: Test the Soil pH for Your Geum (Avens)

Before making any adjustments to your soil’s pH, it’s essential to determine its current level. You can use a home testing kit or send a soil sample to your local extension service for accurate results. To test the soil pH at home, follow these steps:

  1. Collect soil samples from various locations in your Geum (Avens) planting area, taking soil from a depth of 6 inches.
  2. Mix the soil samples together in a clean container.
  3. Follow the instructions provided with your home testing kit to determine the pH level.

Step 2: Amend the Soil pH for Geum (Avens)

Geum (Avens)

Once you have determined the current pH level of your soil, you can take steps to amend it if necessary. Geum (Avens) prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0.

Lowering the Soil pH for Geum (Avens)

If your soil’s pH is too alkaline (above 7.0), you can lower it by adding elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate. The amount needed depends on the current pH and the desired pH. As a general rule, for every 1 point drop in pH, you need about 0.7 pounds of elemental sulfur per 100 square feet.

To amend the soil:

  1. Measure the appropriate amount of elemental sulfur or aluminum sulfate based on your soil’s pH and the size of your planting area.
  2. Spread the amendment evenly over the soil surface.
  3. Mix the amendment into the top 6 inches of soil using a garden fork or tiller.
  4. Water the area thoroughly to help the amendment penetrate the soil.
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Raising the Soil pH for Geum (Avens)

If your soil’s pH is too acidic (below 6.0), you can raise it by adding lime. The amount of lime needed depends on the current pH and the desired pH. As a general guideline, for every 1 point increase in pH, you need about 5 pounds of lime per 100 square feet.

To amend the soil:

  1. Measure the appropriate amount of lime based on your soil’s pH and the size of your planting area.
  2. Spread the lime evenly over the soil surface.
  3. Mix the lime into the top 6 inches of soil using a garden fork or tiller.
  4. Water the area thoroughly to help the lime penetrate the soil.

Step 3: Monitor and Maintain the Soil pH for Geum (Avens)

After amending the soil, retest the pH in 4-6 weeks to ensure it has reached the desired level. If the pH is still not within the ideal range for Geum (Avens), make additional adjustments as needed.

To maintain the proper pH level, incorporate organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into your soil regularly. Organic matter helps buffer pH levels and provides essential nutrients to your Geum plants. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic matter over the soil surface and gently mix it into the top 6 inches of soil.

Step 4: Fertilize Your Geum (Avens) for Optimal Growth

Geum (Avens) 2

In addition to maintaining the proper soil pH, fertilizing your Geum (Avens) is essential for promoting healthy growth and abundant blooms. Use a balanced, slow-release granular fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Follow these steps to fertilize your Geum plants:

  1. Apply the fertilizer in early spring when new growth emerges and again in mid-summer after the first flush of blooms.
  2. Spread the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plants, keeping it about 6 inches away from the stems to avoid burning.
  3. Water the area thoroughly after applying the fertilizer to help it penetrate the soil.
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Step 5: Provide Proper Care for Your Geum (Avens)

In addition to maintaining the proper soil pH and fertilizing, providing the right growing conditions is crucial for the health and vitality of your Geum (Avens). Follow these care tips:

  1. Water your Geum plants deeply and regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases.
  2. Plant your Geum (Avens) in an area that receives full sun to partial shade. They can tolerate a range of temperatures but perform best in moderate conditions.
  3. Deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage continuous flowering throughout the growing season.
  4. Divide your Geum plants every 3-4 years in early spring or fall to maintain their vigor and prevent overcrowding.

By following these steps and providing proper care, you can ensure that your Geum (Avens) thrive in a well-balanced soil pH environment, resulting in healthy growth and stunning blooms year after year.

How Long Does It Take to Balance Soil pH for Geum (Avens)?

The time it takes to balance the soil pH for your Geum (Avens) depends on various factors, such as the current pH level, the type and amount of amendment used, and the soil type. In general, it can take several weeks to a few months for the amendments to fully take effect and stabilize the soil pH.

After amending the soil, it’s essential to retest the pH every 4-6 weeks to monitor progress and make additional adjustments if needed. Once the desired pH range of 6.0 to 7.0 is achieved, continue to test the soil annually to ensure it remains within the optimal range for your Geum plants.

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Home Remedies for Adjusting Soil pH for Geum (Avens)

In addition to using commercial amendments like elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or lime, there are several home remedies you can use to adjust the soil pH for your Geum (Avens):

  1. Coffee Grounds: To lower the soil pH, mix used coffee grounds into the soil around your Geum plants. Use about 1 pound of coffee grounds per 10 square feet of soil.

  2. Wood Ash: To raise the soil pH, sprinkle wood ash from your fireplace or wood stove around your Geum plants. Use about 1 pound of wood ash per 10 square feet of soil.

  3. Vinegar: To lower the soil pH, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water and apply it to the soil around your Geum plants. Use this solution sparingly, as it can be harmful to beneficial soil organisms if overused.

  4. Baking Soda: To raise the soil pH, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 gallon of water and apply it to the soil around your Geum plants. Use this solution sparingly, as it can be harmful to beneficial soil organisms if overused.

Remember to retest the soil pH after using any home remedies to ensure the desired pH range of 6.0 to 7.0 is achieved and maintained for your Geum (Avens).

References:

  1. Fertilizing Avens
  2. Geum – The Garden Helper
  3. Geums – Meadowlark Journal