By Chris Zdorovtsov
How do you change the pH of the soil?
If the soil pH is too low or acidic, calcium carbonate or limestone can be added. Dolomitic limestone is a form that contains magnesium (a macronutrient). When using limestone a ground product is recommended. In South Dakota our soils tend to be neutral to alkaline. A gardener would rarely need to add this product in our state.
Soils with a high pH or alkaline pH can be neutralized by adding an acid forming material. Ground sulfur, peat moss or acid forming fertilizers can help lower the pH. It is difficult or impossible to change the pH much more than one unit, from 7.0 to 6.0. A soil may be buffered, meaning it would be even more difficult to change the pH.
How are plants named in Latin?
Carolus Linnaeus developed the system for naming plants using two scientific or Latinized names. The first word is the genus, and the second word is the species. The two words are always written italicized or underlined. The genus is always capitalized and the species is always lower case. For example, the scientific name for ‘red maple’ is Acer rubrum or Acer rubrum. The preferred form is italicized.