pH Level for Corn
Every plant has its preferred pH level and an acceptable pH range. Corn is no exception. The pH level for corn is around 6, although sources suggest an acceptable range of 5.5 to 7.
pH Levels Explained
The pH level of the growing medium you are using has a big impact on how plants perform. Before beginning to plant, it is necessary to determine the pH level of your growing medium: is it acidic, neutral, or alkaline? Knowing the exact pH level will tell you which plants will grow well and whether you need to adjust the pH somehow to achieve better results.
To find out the pH level of your soil you can either send a sample to a laboratory, which will give you an exact pH level along with an overview of the nutrients in the sample, or you can use a home test kit. The home test kit uses litmus paper, which changes colour depending on the pH level of your soil sample. The colour of the paper can then be compared to a pH level colour chart to determine the pH level of your soil. Home testing is normally sufficient for non-commercial growing.
pH Level for Corn: In Detail
As stated, the pH level for corn is 6, with a range between 5.5 and 7. This means the best pH level for corn is slightly acidic. This is a common pH level and you will find that many varieties of vegetable plants prefer a similar pH level.
Corn is known to be an adaptable species capable of tolerating a wide range of soil types and environmental conditions. It is likely to perform well in soil that falls anywhere within the acceptable range, however, its optimum performance will be achieved in a pH of between 6 to 6.5.
pH Level for Corn: Preparing the Soil
If your soil does not have the correct pH level for corn there are steps you can take to raise or lower the pH into the acceptable range. This is done using soil amendments.
Soil amendments are substances that are used to improve the soil in a number of ways, including altering the pH level. Amendments can be synthetic or organic, fast-acting or slow-acting. Generally, fast-acting soil amendments are synthetic and slow-acting amendments are organic.
If your pH is too high to grow corn you can add compost, coffee grounds, mulch, or peat moss to increase the acidity gradually and organically. If you’re in a rush, try using aluminium sulphate, which will change the pH almost instantly.
If your pH is too low you can decrease the acidity by adding baking soda mixed with water, wood ashes, or by using lime. Lime takes longer to break down than ashes or baking soda but it will also increase the alkalinity for longer.
Getting the Right pH for Corn with BAC
Here at BAC, we produce a high-quality lime soil amendment that is perfect for increasing the alkalinity of your acidic soil in preparation for planting corn.