You don’t need a fancy kit to decide the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Learn How to Check Your Soil pH at Home in Simple Steps!
Most gardeners skip examining the acidity level of the medium and end up with an unhealthy harvest despite all the hard work. To avoid such mishaps, learn How to Check Your Soil pH at Home and enjoy healthy plant growth.
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Can You Test Soil pH at Home?
Yes, you can test the soil pH at home. It is basically all about determining the level of hydrogen ions in the soil, i.e., whether the growing medium is acidic, alkaline, or basic. Scaled on 0-14, pH 7 stands for neutral, below the mark is acidic, and a pH above 7 inclines to alkalinity.
It is important to perform a home test of soil pH for the proper availability of nutrients to the plant roots. Usually, the ideal pH of most plants is 5.5 to 7.
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How to Check the Soil pH at Home?
Home Test of Soil pH is executed using test strips(litmus paper), easily available in the market.
- Collect half a cup of crumbled soil in a bowl. Make sure to scoop it from 6 inches below the ground level.
- Fill it with an equal amount of distilled water and stir the mixture thoroughly. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Stir it again and dip a litmus strip in it.
- Determine the soil pH level per the color scale that comes with the strips.
You can perform this home test of soil pH multiple times, taking samples from different spots in your garden.
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DIY Home Soil pH Test
Apart from the test strips, you can also perform Soil pH Tests at home following these DIYs.
1. Soil pH Test Using Vinegar [For Alkaline Soil]
Take half a cup of soil in a mug; dig it from 6 inches below the ground level. Add an equal amount of water and mix it. Next, add half a cup of vinegar to the mixture.
If you notice instant bubbling and fizzing in the medium, it indicates alkalinity, while no visible reaction determines the neutral nature of the soil.
Reason: Since vinegar is an acidic medium, on coming in contact with alkaline soil, it forms a fizzing reaction.
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2. The Baking Soda Soil pH Test [For Acidic Soil]
Take half a cup of soil and mix it with an equal amount of distilled water. Stir well and add half a cup of baking soda to the mixture. If you hear a bubbling noise and the mix fizzes up, your soil is Acidic.
Reason: Baking soda is alkaline, and coming in contact with an acidic medium leads to the bubbling and fizzing of the soil, the absence of which indicates its neutrality.
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Important Things to Remember
- Home soil pH tests will identify the nature of the soil but not the exact pH. If you wish to determine the exact pH, consider the conventional lab test.
- Usually, the garden soil is acidic in nature, so if you notice light fizz, it is totally fine to use the medium. However, vigor fizzing indicates high acidity, which might be toxic for your plants.
- Make sure to remove any debris before performing the soil tests.