When I first started my garden the pH was too low
and many plants were not growing to their potential, and many were diseased. It
was obvious that the soil was acidic from the type of weeds growing around.
I added dolomite, which I had bought a truckload of as this particular dolomite
from this particular quarry was highly recommended for fruit trees because of
its high magnesium content.
The cabbages have been growing well ever since as
well as most garden vegetable.
The pH is often disregarded but it is very
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 11:57
Subject: [nafex] Re:
Tom wrote "In my experience green peppers love sulfur
and produce a good
crop when sulfur is added to the soil.
My guess is
that green peppers like their soil a little acidic, and the
acidifies the soil. Just my guess.
I usually just mix up a gallon of
lime/sulfur spray (dormant concentration
level) and water in my pepper
plants with it when planting. Some people
just plane a couple of
unlit, wooden matches under each plant (the old style
matches have sulfur
in them). Can anyone confirm acid soil for green
peppers, or is it some
other aspect to sulfur that induces bumper crops of
Our property came with wild
blueberries on it, which can give you some
idea of the pH. The first
year we gardened there we had a "disease" in
peppers in which leaves
developed brown spots and fell off, leaving only the
skeleton. (Corn grew
8" high and fired from the bottom up. the co agent
agreed with me it
looked like K deficiency, but thought it was from low pH
as local soils
have plenty of K) Naturally, yields were dismal. I decided
was bacterial blight, and indeed, the plants responded to lime sulfur.
the second year did I realize it was calcium that was in short supply.
friend saved her peppers from this condition by adding high Ca lime at
advice. So the notion that peppers need sulfur is new to me, but I
heard 2 farmers in our area say they got the best grass they'd ever
after adding 50 lbs to the acre of sulfur. ( I'm sure their
fields had had
plenty of lime, sulfur alone in our first year would
probably done in the
After we got our pH
and organic matter up, we used to see manganese
deficiency during rainy
spells (yellow stripes in the corn, similar to but
NOT THE SAME as
magnesium deficiency) . These 3 factors ( high moisture,
high pH and
high organic matter) are a recipe for manganese deficiency, and
thing we could affect was the pH. I threw sulfur around and the
I hope all this will give food for thought,
and maybe some actual
experiments. Naturally a CEC soil test is the
best way to look for these
problems. In fact, it was such a test plus
that wonderful book, HANDS ON
AGRONOMY, that clued me in on the
manganese problem. ( I myself seem to be
genetically prone to manganese
deficiency, so it's not a good idea to have
much of our food supply in the
same boat) I finally bought my own copy,
then loaned it to a farmer
friend who whined and pleaded to keep it longer
than the 2 months he'd
already had it. I wonder if an excerpt published in
inspire a few people to try the CEC soil tests? The ones the
does are useless.
I also got a great book on weeds
as soil indicators. Ours all
indicated high Mg, low Ca the last
few years. Broomsedge thrives in low
pH, low N, and low P
conditions and should NEVER be seen in an orchard.
Donna in TN
zone 6, in severely leached upland clay soil
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