Correcting Ph levels

Old 09-01-19, 04:24 PM
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Correcting Ph levels

I am new to gardening. I live in High Desert of California. Very sandy soil. Been using some fertilizer.
Last year had some pretty good success with a Salsa garden, and some very sweet yet small cantaloupe. Also a nice crop of Horn Worms. Hand picked all summer. This year used Bt.
This year tried corn, watermelon, squash, zucchini, and pumpkin.
Everything failed to some extent.
Corn grew tall, but few ears, all dried up.
Tomatoes don't fully ripen before starting to get sun burned, they are still edible.
Still small cantaloupe but not as sweet.
Squash is doing good, but only two zucchini.
Peppers are doing good
Discovered black spots on the melons, leading to research suggesting that the Ph level is off.
Someone also suggested that I might be over watering. Any advice on that?

I ordered a Ph meter, It is saying my Ph is well into the alkaline level, above 8.

Any suggestion for next year?
Going to start with tilling in fertilizer before spring.
Also will try to burn all the old plants and use the ashes.
Old 09-02-19, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
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might suggest a soil test be done so you know more what your soil needs to improve it.
doubtful that you are over watering.
your corn sounds like it had poor pollination its wind pollinated not sure how much you actually planted, new gardeners often may not plant enough to get good pollination or they planted 1 or 2 long rows versus 4-5 shorter rows that would of pollinated itself better its possible to hand pollinate also though.
Old 09-03-19, 07:17 AM
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I would take a soil sample to your counties agricultural extension office. Inexpensive pH meters can be very inaccurate. But pH of 8 is high for most plants so you might need to amend the soil to bring the pH down. pH is something that can be often require long term care to keep in the desired range so this might not be a once and done type solution. The content of your soil, plants affect and your water's pH can all cause the pH to move over time so you may have to add stuff to adjust the pH for years to come.

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