undefinedAugust 18,2020

How to Test Soil pH? 2 Simple Methods to Do It on Your Own

Test soil pH value is an important factor that decides the growth of a plant. The soil should have a specific range of pH values for the growth of the plants to take place. If the pH value of the soil is not in the specific range required by the plants then adding fertilizer or any other chemical won’t help; plants won’t be able to access the nutrients present in the soil in this case. 

What is a soil pH test?

Test Soil PH


A soil pH test is a test to measure the hydrogen ions that are present in the soil. A lower pH value means that the soil is acidic in nature while a higher pH value means that the soil is basic or alkaline in nature. pH value- 7 is neutral, less than 7 is acidic and more than 7 is alkaline. 

The pH value required by plants for their growth varies from one plant to another. Some plants require acidic soil while some require alkaline soil. 

If you are wondering how to test soil pH then let us tell you that it is very easy to do it on your own and the following two methods will quickly give you the results. 

Method 1: Using pH strip

Test Soil PH


pH strips are highly helpful and they give an exact measurement of the pH value. You can get these strips from any chemical shop. Just get these strips and follow the below steps:

  1. Dig out a soil sample; dig out about 5 inches of soil from your garden and remove any unwanted materials like stones, sticks, etc. Also, break down the large clumps of soil. This will give you a good sample.
  2. Now, put 1-3 teaspoons of soil from the sample that you took out in a clean glass.
  3. Now, get some distilled water and pour it in the glass up to the same level as that of soil.
  4. Stir the solution for some time and let it rest for the next 30 minutes. 
  5. Now, you will need a coffee filter. Pour the soil sample in the coffee filter and then take it into another clean glass. The Solid will be captured and liquid will pass through and get stored in the glass.
  6. Now, dip the pH strip into the liquid and then check what color it turns to. There will be a color chart on the manufacturer’s packaging or you can check the color chart online as well. Compare the color the strip turned into with the color chart and you will get an idea as to what type of pH value the soil has.
  7. You can repeat the steps several times to get the exact value of the pH. Try it with the samples from different parts of your garden

Method 2: Using Vinegar and Baking soda

Test Soil PH


Follow the below steps for this:

  1. The first step is to get a soil sample. For this, bring a hand shovel and dig about 5 inches of soil and you will get a good sample. 
  2. Now, after you have taken out the sample. Break down the large clumps and remove any stones and unwanted material from the sample. 
  3. Now, bring a clean glass bowl. Add one cup of soil sample into it and then add enough water to it so that it can be converted into the mud. 
  4. Now, add ½ cup of vinegar to the bowl and stir it for some time. If bubbles or foam occurs then your soil is alkaline. 
  5. If there are no bubbles seen or not even the soil foams then repeat steps 1 to 3 and then instead of adding vinegar to it, add ½ cup of baking soda and stir it slightly. 
  6. If the soil foams or bubbles are seen then it is acidic in nature.

Isn’t this method simple? You will be getting the results in no time and you don’t have to do any special preparation for this. You will be having baking soda and vinegar in your kitchen, just take them out and just do it. 

If the test doesn’t produce bubbles in either of the cases then your soil is in the Neutral range.

You might need a soil pH adjuster in case the growth of your plants is hampering. If there is no growth then you can also get the soil tested from a lab and they will provide you the accurate results and then you can consult with a professional gardener who will provide you the right steps that are needed to enrich the growth of your plants. 

So, here was an overview of how to test soil pH. Follow the above methods and just get the pH value of your soil. Knowing the pH value of the soil is very helpful as it gives a clear idea as to which plants can have a good growth in the soil and which won’t. 

After knowing this, one can check out the internet for specific details of the soil type required for the plants that we want to grow and take the necessary actions. 




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