Soil pH the most important element for success

Gardeners have been advised that before they even consider which fruits and vegetables to grow in their greenhouses, they need to think about dirt.

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Doreen Howard noted that soil is the "most important element for success" when it comes to growing garden produce.

As a result, she advises keen horticulturalists to download a free report on their local soil quality from the United States Department of Agriculture website.

This information can then be used to improve the productivity of a gardeners back yard.

"Once you know your soil type or types, you may have to improve the ground before planting," Ms Howard told the news provider.

"Sprinkle sulfur to lower pH or add lime to raise it."

Soil with a pH of less than seven is considered acidic, while soil with a pH of more than seven is considered alkaline.

Potatoes and marrows are good vegetables to grow for those with acidic soil, while alkaline earth is more suited to carrot production.