What Grows Well In Alkaline Soil

Different soils have different properties that should be considered when growing different things in them.

In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in alkaline soil.

 

Summary – What Grows Well In Alkaline Soil

The main thing to be aware of with alkaline soil is the pH

There’s certain materials and amendments you can add to alkaline soil to change the pH, or other traits of the soil

The soil pH is only one factor in determining what you can and can’t grow in that soil – there’s also other factors to consider, with climate/weather conditions being one major one

Overall, each individual geographic area (in different regions, States/Provinces, and so on) of soil needs to be assessed individually with all it’s own unique factors and variables to determine what does and doesn’t grow well in it. There may be growing principles that apply to alkaline soils generally, but, individual growing variables can change that to different extents

 

Characteristics Of, & Profile Of Alkaline Soil

Alkaline soils:

Have a pH over 7

Can contain limestone or some type of calcium/lime rock deposit underneath the soil

Chalky soil is usually alkaline

 

Working With, Amending & Improving Alkaline Soil

Alkaline soils can be amended or balanced to come back to neutral, or become more acidic, with the additions of acidic fruit compost scraps, or elemental sulfur, or peat moss.

The addition of ash or lime will make soils more alkaline if you have acidic soils.

Note that there are differing levels of alkaline soil. Some plants for example may grow in slightly alkaline soil (just about 7), whilst some might like more alkaline soil. So, pH range does matter. 

You can test pH with a simple pH testing kit you can buy online or at the local gardening or home/outdoors store. You can also get soil professionally tested.

Read more about working with and improving alkaline soil at:

 

A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow

Before we look at what grows well in alkaline soil, it’s important to note that all soils are slightly different in composition depending on the location, there are different external factors acting upon each soil, and ultimately, there are many physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.

This is just a guide on alkaline soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, fertilizer added, top soil added, pesticides added, tilling practices and so on).

It would do you well in the long term to get information on the type of soil in your location (what it is and what is the best way to manage it), the pH, the climate in your location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones), the plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need – and come up with a specific plan for your situation.

These guides provide some basic information on figuring out what might grow well in different soils, conditions and locations:

 

Plants & Flowers That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

You can find a list of alkaline friendly plants at:

 

Vegetables, Crops & Herbs That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

Most vegetables prefer neutral, or slightly acidic soil, but some can do well in alkaline soils (homeguides.sfgate.com):

 

  • Lavender
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Potato
  • Okra
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Celery

– gardeningknowhow.com

 

  • Asparagus
  • Leeks
  • Sugar beets
  • Lima beans
  • Swiss chard
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms

– homeguides.sfgate.com

 

Fruits & Fruits Trees That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

Most fruit trees like a slightly acidic soil, or neutral soil, and not alkaline soils. But, there are a few that can tolerate alkaline soils:

 

  • Fig trees

– selfsufficientculture.com

 

  • Some cherry varieties

– homeguides.sfgate.com

 

Trees, Shrubs & Bushes That Grow Well In Alkaline Soil

Trees:

  • Common, or European Beech
  • European Ash
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Mugo Pine
  • Ornamental Cherry

– thespruce.com

Find the full list of shrubs and bushes at thespruce.com

 

Trees:

  • Silver Maple
  • Buckeye
  • Hackberry
  • Green Ash
  • Honey Locust
  • Ironwood
  • Austrian Pine
  • Burr Oak
  • Tamarisk

– gardeningknowhow.com

 

Sources

1. http://www.provident-living-today.com/Types-of-Soil.html

2. https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/list-of-suggested-soil-ph-range-for-fruit-trees.1063/

3. https://www.annsentitledlife.com/how-does-your-garden-grow/75-alkaline-friendly-plants/ 

4. https://www.thespruce.com/soil-and-plants-that-dont-mind-alkalinity-2131000 

5. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/plants-for-alkaline-soil.htm 

6. https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/10-plants-for-gardens-with-alkaline-soil-pictures 

7. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/alkaline-tolerant-plants-22452.html

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