A good p.H. for a permaculture garden (or any garden that has food as it’s primary) is 6.2 to 6.8 on the p.H. scale. Many gardeners spend quite a bit of time and money attempting to adjust soils to just the right p.H. for growing annual and perennial fruit and vegetables. It is true that blueberries (which are acidic in nature) grow well in a more acidic soil and that brassicas fair well as well in a more alkaline (or basic) soil. However, both acid loving and alkaline preferring plants can co-habituate and produce abundantly as neighbors when making the focus on “life” and not p.H. in the garden.
p.H. stands for parts hydrogen and when we are dealing with a permaculture garden we are really dealing with life. When designing and building a permaculture system I recommend that any permaculture site, whether it be a patio or a 50 acre property that has a 2 acre garden, make a finished compost of about a cubic yard at least twice a year. Compost is a low input to maximum output inoculation of life into a zone 1 permaculture garden system. When life, in all it’s microbiological forms, is high in a garden bed the micro-organisms regulate temperature, provide pest management, exchange nutrients with plants, hold and absorb water, and very efficiently balance the p.H. of soil. When life becomes the focus of soil building then the p.H. will automatically adjust itself (often on a per plant basis) for a low maintenance, life rich, and slightly acidic soil base.
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