How to test the pH of garden soil

To safely plan which varieties of plants and flowers you can grow in your garden , it is essential to know the pH of the land you want to plant. Next we will learn how to correctly test and measure the pH of a garden’s soil.

First of all prepare everything around you

Before starting any type of test, it is important to prepare everything you will need for your task: wash and clean carefully all the tools you will use during the pH test. Keep in mind that dirty utensils can distort, or tamper with the results obtained. Likewise, take care of the soil sample to be analyzed, removing all impurities and residues of any kind. Make sure that only soil free from components that can alter the results of the tests you are going to perform remains.

Soil samples are taken at what depth?

If you want to know the ideal location for each plant, you only need to dig about 2 cm below ground level. If you want to know the pH index of the soil then you will need to dig approximately 10 centimeters.

Choose which type of test you want to take

There are basically 3 different ways to analyze the pH of a soil: through a soil kit, using a soil meter or a probe. Opting for one of the many existing home tests, or using samples.

Soil kits

The analyzes made through the soil kits are carried out with a test tube where a little of the soil to be tested is poured, and to which the powder that is supplied with the kit is added. Cover everything with water, shake and wait for the test result. The result is known in a few minutes through the appearance of a color inserted in the color table present in the kit and where the pH result is read.

Soil meter, or pH probe

These tests are instant readable and are done by inserting the test directly into the soil, or in a soil sample with water. The result appears in the form of a color code or a number that indicates the pH content of the soil.

Home tests

There are several different home tests that provide unspecified results, but they are generally correct. Through any of the available home tests you can get a very close idea of ​​the reality of whether the terrain is acidic or alkaline. Some examples of home tests are the test of vinegar, bicarbonate, red lettuce among others. Using home tests does not guarantee a 100% guaranteed result, but it is certainly much easier and cheaper, as the materials used are almost always present in any domestic pantry. For those who do not need scientifically proven results, home tests are a good choice.

Sample shipment

The test results are not always conclusive. Often, the samples collected do not exactly fit any of the indices provided for in soil pH tests. On these occasions the best alternative to dispel doubts is to send samples of land to specific laboratories or horticultural facilities for similar studies. These tests are almost always done free of charge or at low cost, and the authenticity of the results is scientifically guaranteed.

And when none of the tests produces any reaction?

When several tests are carried out and all of them have no reaction, then this may mean that one is in the presence of a very neutral soil. However, it is advisable to repeat the tests with different samples of the same soil, as it often happens that the same terrain has different pH levels depending on where the sample is collected.

If the test results are contrary to the farmer’s wishes?

There is no point in being discouraged even if the test results indicate that this is not a good soil for the garden and plants . There are ways on the market to change the pH of the land and adjust it to what you want. The important thing really is to know what the pH of the soil is because this is the only way for a conscious and well-directed crop.

What are the pH indices that determine the characterization of a soil?

Ideal soils for agriculture have a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Neutral soils have a pH of approximately 6.5 to 7.5. Acidic soils have a pH below 7. Alkaline soils have a pH greater than 7. (on a scale of 0 to 14, where 0 represents the most acidic soil and 14 represents the most alkaline soil).

It is very convenient to carry out pH tests before starting to plant a flower or sowing garden . Only after the alkaline nature of the soil is known will it be possible to establish which crops will grow there under the best conditions, or it will be possible to change the pH of the soil.

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