How To Test Soil Acidity/Alkalinity without a Test Kit

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This article is shows how to test your soil’s pH without buying a test kit and using common household items.  It is not as precise as a commercial test kit, and will not tell you the exact levels, but it is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Knowing the acidity/alkalinity of your soil is very important to real gardening (as opposed to my personal hit or miss strategy).  If your life depends on the food you grow you owe it to yourself to do better than just sticking seeds in the dirt and hoping for the best.

Here is the procedure on how to test soil:

  • Scoop some soil into a container (1/2 mason jar full)
  • add a half-cup of vinegar. If the soil bubbles or fizzes, it’s alkaline.
  • If there’s no reaction, scoop a fresh soil sample into a second container
  • Add a half-cup of water and mixadd a half-cup of baking soda. If the soil bubbles or fizzes the soil is highly acidic.

If acidic amend your soil with wood ash or lime

If alkaline amend your soil with sulfur or pine needles

That is all there is to How To Test Soil for pH.

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