All plants have a certain soil pH range they do best in, but pH is especially important for fruit trees and shrubs to obtain the nutrients they need to be productive. A soil's acidity or alkalinity often determines nutrient availability such as iron in acidic soils and calcium in alkaline soils. Planting your fruit trees and shrubs in soil with the correct pH will help them thrive. Plant them in the wrong pH and fruit production dwindles as does the overall health of the plant.
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Apples, Pears and Stone Fruits
Fruit trees such as apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches and nectarines prefer a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5. This is almost neutral and unless your soil is highly acidic or alkaline, the trees will grow well. Because of their deep and spreading roots to obtain nutrients and water, trees tend to be less picky about precise soil pH. However, if your soil is acidic, you should try to raise the pH by adding in mushroom compost or manure.
If you live in a climate where you can grow citrus trees, they will do best if you can plant them in soil with a pH range between 4.2 and 5.5. If you test your soil and find it isn't in this range, amend the soil with something that lowers pH such as peat moss.
Cane Berries and Grapes
Cane berries include raspberries, blackberries, loganberries and other similar berries. These plants and grapes, like many fruit trees, do best in pH 6.0 to 6.5. However, these plants are quite adaptable and will do well in pH ranges from 5.5 to 7.0. Currants and gooseberries will also do well at any of these pH levels, but they thrive in the 5.5 to 6.5 range.
Blueberries are acid lovers and will do poorly in soil with a pH higher than 5.5. The optimal pH range for blueberries is 4.0 to 5.0. Adding peat moss or pine needle mulch to your soil will lower the acidity. Huckleberries are another acid loving fruit shrub.
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