Homemade Test for Soil pH in the Garden. All You Need Is Two Ingredients And, of Course, a Soil Sample

    Homemade Test for Soil pH in the Garden. All You Need Is Two Ingredients And, of Course, a Soil Sample

    5:01 PM EDT, June 3, 2024

    Testing the pH of the soil is very important, because this factor has a huge impact on how the plants planted in the soil will develop. How to check the pH of the soil in the garden? In this article we will show you the best homemade ways to do it.

    What does the pH factor measure?

    The pH factor measures the level of acidity in the soil and affects a plant's ability to absorb nutrients. If the pH level of the soil is not within the recommended range for the plant, all the nutrients and fertilizers in the world won't help - the plants won't be able to absorb the nutrients. Some plants have specific pH requirements and will not thrive if the soil pH is not within a certain range.

    A pH below 7.0 means acidic, 7.0 is neutral, and anything above 7.0 is alkaline. Acidic or alkaline soil is not necessarily bad, it all depends on the plants you are growing. Most can adapt to a soil pH range of 6 to 7.5, but some plants have distinct requirements. For example, hydrangeas require acidic soil in the range of 4.5 to 5.5, while lavender does best in alkaline soil with a pH of about 8.0

    When should you conduct a soil pH test?

    Soil pH testing should be one of the important items on your fall to-do list. Testing the pH at this time of year allows you to take steps to correct the pH before the next spring planting season. In addition, autumn is a good time to pay attention to weeds that have been growing all summer, which can also give clues about soil pH.

    For example, dandelions, strawberries and plane trees thrive in acidic soil, while chickpeas, Queen Anne's lace and chicory prefer alkaline soil.

    Conducting a soil pH test in the fall gives you plenty of time to plant nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Or to change next year's planting plan to accommodate the pH. For alkaline soil, you can lower the pH by adding organic materials such as peat moss. Acidic soil can be neutralized by adding lime.


    How to check the pH of the soil in the garden? The best homemade ways

    The pH of the soil can be easily tested using what you already have in your kitchen. You can do this using:

    Vinegar essence

    Pour a few drops of vinegar on a handful of soil. If you notice a rapid boiling accompanied by the release of carbon dioxide, this is a clear indication that the soil in your garden is alkaline. On the other hand, if only small bubbles have appeared and the reaction is weak, the pH is probably close to neutral. If, on the other hand, there has been no reaction, then your soil is presumably acidic.

    Grape juice

    Drop a pinch of soil into a pot containing grape juice. If the juice changes color and gas bubbles appear, this will be a clear signal that the pH of your soil is close to neutral.

    Baking soda

    Add half a cup of baking soda to a sample of moist soil and mix them. If the soil foams or bubbles, it means it is acidic. This method unfortunately cannot detect soil that is too alkaline

    Cherry and currant leaves for soil pH

    Cherry and currant leaves poured over boiling distilled water after cooling will also be a good test for soil pH. The change in the color of the water after dropping a soil sample into it is an indicator of its pH: red water - the soil is acidic, blue - slightly acidic, green is neutral soil.

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