Aluminum Sulfate (AuSO4) Use For Hybrids And Other Vegetables
The use of aluminum sulfate in vegetables is not new. However, it was only recently that research began to show its effectiveness. There are many reasons why this may be true, but one reason is because of the high cost of other alternatives such as copper sulfate or even potassium bicarbonate.
These chemicals have been used successfully for years without any problems with plants and animals. They do require a little more work up front than using aluminum sulfate, but they are definitely worth it.
There are two main ways to apply aluminum sulfate to your gardens. One way is through the soil itself, which involves spreading the chemical over the surface of the soil where it will slowly dissolve into the water and eventually get absorbed by plant roots. The second method is to spray the chemical directly onto the soil, which requires less effort and results in faster absorption.
Both methods result in a greater amount of aluminum being absorbed into the soil, so it’s best to choose one or the other depending on what type of garden you want to grow in.
When choosing between these two options, there are some advantages and disadvantages associated with each approach. Let’s take a look at them all!
Advantages Of Using Chemicals Through The Soil
1. It’s less work and more convenient because you don’t have to spray the soil.
Instead, you only have to spread the chemical on the surface of the soil and it will get absorbed into the water on its own.
2. You can control how much aluminum you want in your soil, which is not possible with spraying.
In fact, with this approach you can easily control the pH of the soil since you’ll know exactly how much chemical to add.
3. The plants will actually get some of the nutrients from the aluminum and this in turn helps to prevent diseases, which is not possible if you’re spraying the soil directly.
4. There’s less of a chance that the plants will absorb too much of the aluminum and suffer from “aluminum-burn”, which makes them inedible.
Disadvantages Of Using Chemicals Through The Soil
1. The rate at which the chemical gets absorbed into the water is really slow.
If you’re growing vegetables that require more immediate nutrients, this method may take longer than necessary.
2. The plants may not be able to access the aluminum as quickly as they need to.
3. Although rare, some plants are sensitive enough that they cannot grow or at least thrive in soil that has an abundance of aluminum in it.
Advantages Of Using Chemicals By Spraying
1. Soil is easier to work with than water when it comes to balancing out the pH level of the soil.
All you need to do is add some vinegar or lemon juice to the mix on the soil and then apply it to the soil.
2. If you have a small garden that doesn’t require a lot of soil amendment, this method is definitely more convenient and will save you time.
3. Aluminum gets absorbed into the water faster than it does when applied to the soil directly.
4. As mentioned before, this method is great if you have a small garden or need to do some last minute soil amendment.
Disadvantages Of Using Chemicals By Spraying
1. Aluminum will still get absorbed into the water at a slower rate and could take days to be fully absorbed.
This could result in nutrient burn if you’re growing fast-growing plants like lettuce or other greens.
2. It may be susceptible to the elements such as rain.
For this reason, you may need to water your plants more often since the aluminum will be washed away over time.
3. You can’t control how much aluminum is being absorbed, which could be both a good and bad thing.
A lot of aluminum in your soil could be great for growing vegetables, but it could also kill your plants if there’s too much.
4. Too much aluminum in the soil can also cause aluminum-burn, which is something you definitely want to avoid.
There you have it! Those are the two most common ways of amending the soil with aluminum using pH UP and ALOHA. Both have their pros and cons, so choose which one works best for you and your garden!
As always, feel free to let me know if you need any help.
~Johnny Grosso, Manager of Farmers Market
Johnny Grosso is an expert in hydroponics and organic farming. He has helped to start many community gardens in major cities throughout the United States. Currently, he is the manager of a large outdoor farmers market that maintains a large community garden and sells his produce to local restaurants.
Johnny has recently published a book on his methods of growing organic and sustainable foods at home. The book, entitled “Food Forever,” teaches readers how to grow their own food by using basic gardening techniques.
The book can be purchased online at your favorite bookstore or online retailer.
Sources & references used in this article:
Gardening Down-under: A guide to healthier soils and plants by K Handreck – 2001 – books.google.com
Use of soil amendments to attenuate trace element exposure: sustainability, side effects, and failures by M Mench, J Vangronsveld, N Lepp… – … availability in soils, 2007 – researchgate.net
Bentonite can decrease ammonia volatilisation losses from poultry litter: laboratory studies by MR Redding – Animal Production Science, 2013 – CSIRO