Soil pH ranges on a scale of 1-14 and indicates how acidic or alkaline the soil is, with 7.0 indicating neutral soil. Testing soil pH is essential for home gardening. While most vegetables tend to prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil (6.0-7.0), there are exceptions, such as blueberries, which prefer a more acidic soil. Growing plants and vegetables in soil that does not have the proper pH can diminish yields and damage the plants. Here’s how to test soil pH for better gardening results.
TESTING SOIL pH
The first thing you need to do is determine what the current pH of your soil is. This is easily done with a pH meter. Dig a small hole in your soil, 2-4 inches deep. Remove any debris such as rocks or twigs. Break up the soil in the bottom of the hole and add distilled water until you have a muddy pool. Do not use bottled, tap or spring water, none of which have a reliably neutral pH. Insert your clean, calibrated pH meter. Wipe it off with a clean cloth if necessary. Try not to touch it with your bare hands before taking a reading. Leave it in the mud pool for about 60 seconds and you should have an accurate reading.
Take several readings at different spots in your garden to accurately determine the soil pH. If all readings are about the same, use the average of them all to determine your overall soil pH.
Spot treating may be necessary if you have any dramatically different readings.
Have tips on how to test soil pH? Let us know in the comments section below.
Soil Ph Testers
The Rittenhouse Soil pH Meter is easy to use and doesn’t require distilled water or any chemicals for testing.
The Luster Leaf Rapitest pH Soil Tester pack contains 10 soil pH tests so you can make sure your soil is pH balanced every time.