How to Balance pH for Nasturtium: A Comprehensive Guide

Nasturtiums are beautiful, easy-to-grow flowers that add a burst of color to any garden. However, to ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms, it is crucial to maintain the proper soil pH balance. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss how to balance pH for nasturtium, including the ideal pH range, identification process, specific caring process, chemical uses, home remedies, and more.

What Is the Ideal pH Range for Nasturtium?

Nasturtiums thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil, with a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. This range allows the plants to absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil, promoting healthy growth and vibrant blooms. If the soil pH is too acidic or alkaline, it can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, leading to stunted growth and fewer flowers.

How to Identify the pH Level of Your Soil

nasturtiumImage source: Pixabay

Before adjusting the pH level of your soil, it is essential to determine its current pH. You can use a soil pH testing kit, which is readily available at most garden centers or online. Follow these steps to test your soil pH:

  1. Collect soil samples from various parts of your garden where you plan to grow nasturtiums.
  2. Mix the soil samples together to create a representative sample.
  3. Follow the instructions provided with your soil pH testing kit to determine the pH level of your soil.

Alternatively, you can send your soil sample to a local cooperative extension office for a more accurate analysis.

How to Adjust the pH Level for Nasturtium

If your soil pH is too acidic (below 6.0), you can raise the pH by adding lime to the soil. The amount of lime required depends on the current pH level and the type of soil you have. As a general guide, add the following amounts of lime per 100 square feet of soil:

  • Sandy soil: 5 lbs of lime
  • Loamy soil: 7 lbs of lime
  • Clay soil: 8 lbs of lime
See also  How to Balance pH for Frankincense (Boswellia)

If your soil pH is too alkaline (above 7.0), you can lower the pH by adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate to the soil. The amount required depends on the current pH level and the type of soil you have. As a general guide, add the following amounts per 100 square feet of soil:

  • Sandy soil: 1 lb of sulfur or 6 lbs of aluminum sulfate
  • Loamy soil: 1.5 lbs of sulfur or 9 lbs of aluminum sulfate
  • Clay soil: 2 lbs of sulfur or 12 lbs of aluminum sulfate

It is best to adjust the soil pH before planting nasturtiums. However, if you need to adjust the pH mid-season, be cautious not to apply the amendments directly to the plant’s roots, as this can cause damage.

Specific Caring Process for Nasturtium

nasturtium 2Image source: Pixabay

In addition to maintaining the proper soil pH, nasturtiums require specific care to ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms. Follow these tips:

  1. Plant nasturtiums in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of flowers.
  2. Provide nasturtiums with a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  3. Water nasturtiums once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
  4. Monitor for pests such as aphids, and combat them with a strong spray of water from the hose if necessary.

Home Remedies for Balancing pH in Nasturtium

In addition to using lime or sulfur to adjust soil pH, there are several home remedies you can use to maintain the proper pH balance for nasturtiums:

  1. Coffee grounds: Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of your nasturtium plants to slightly acidify the soil.
  2. Eggshells: Crush dried eggshells and mix them into the soil to raise the pH level gradually.
  3. Vinegar: Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water and use this solution to water your nasturtiums once a month to lower the soil pH slightly.
  4. Wood ash: Sprinkle a small amount of wood ash around the base of your nasturtium plants to raise the soil pH gradually.
See also  How to Balance the pH for Texas Sage (Leucophyllum frutescens)

Remember to use these home remedies sparingly and monitor the soil pH regularly to avoid over-adjusting the pH level.

How Long Does It Take to Balance pH for Nasturtium?

The time required to balance the pH for nasturtium depends on the current pH level, the type of soil, and the amendment used. Lime can take several months to fully react with the soil, while sulfur and aluminum sulfate can take effect within a few weeks. It is essential to retest the soil pH every 4-6 weeks and make adjustments as needed.

Ideal Temperature and Watering for Nasturtium

Nasturtiums prefer cool temperatures between 55-65°F (13-18°C) and can tolerate some light frost. In hot weather, provide nasturtiums with afternoon shade to prevent the flowers from fading quickly. Water nasturtiums deeply once a week, or more frequently during dry spells, to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.

By following this comprehensive guide on how to balance pH for nasturtium, you can ensure that your plants receive the optimal growing conditions for healthy growth and abundant blooms. Remember to monitor the soil pH regularly, provide the necessary care, and enjoy the vibrant colors of your thriving nasturtium plants.

References:
1. https://www.burpee.com/blog/encyclopedia__nasturtium-article.html
2. https://kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/growing-nasturtium-companion-plants-tips-and-tricks/
3. http://heritagegarden.uic.edu/nasturtium-tropaeolum-majus
4. https://greg.app/garden-nasturtium-soil/