How to Test Soil pH without a Test Kit

 

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This article, and the video above, shows a simple way how to test your soil’s pH without buying a test kit.

This method uses everyday common household items.

All you need to make a kit to test your soils pH is:

This DIY pH soil test is not as precise as a commercial test kit.  Additionally, it will not tell you the exact pH level, but it is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Knowing the acidity/alkalinity level 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 mix in a half-cup of baking soda. If the soil bubbles or fizzes the soil is highly acidic.

What to do after you have checked your soil pH.

Once you know if your soil is overly acidic or alkaline, you can easily add material to balance the pH of your soil.

  • Acidic soil can be amended with the addition of wood ash or lime
  • If you soil is alkaline, you can add sulfur or pine needles

As you can tell, it is pretty simple to to test soil pH without a test kit, all you really need is a basic understanding of Chemistry.

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