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Q & A: Vinegar, Plants, and Soil pH

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
what effects does vinegar and water have on plants respectively? Why does vinegar preserve life better than water?? this is from a result of my experiment.
- Chansey
A:
Chansey -

Iíd be willing to bet that if you tried your experiment a few more times, you'd find that vinegar is good for some types of plants and bad for others. The reason for this actually has to do with the soil, not the water. Different types of plants do best at different soil pH's. Soil pH tells you how much acid there is in the soil. The more acid there is, the lower the pH will be. Since vinegar contains a lot of acid, adding vinegar will lower the soil pH.

So if the plantís ideal pH is less than what the soil currently has, adding vinegar will probably do it a lot of good. In particular, if the dirt youíre using contains a lot of limestone (a fairly common problem for farmers), the pH will normally be very high (not much acid). This is good for some plants, but bad for others. It is especially bad for blueberries, which will only grow well if the soil has a very low pH. This makes it very hard to grow blueberries in locations with a lot of limestone. But if the plantís ideal pH is higher than where the soil currently is, adding vinegar would not be a good idea.

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

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