people that are new to gardening would never even consider the
pH level of their garden soil.
The reason people test their
soil is because most plants grow their best when the pH level of
the garden soil tests between 6 and 7. You want to have soil
where the plants are happiest and able to produce the most
vegetables. If a plant is trying to grow in the wrong pH soil,
it will lack the nutrients that it requires. Although there are
some exceptions, the recommended pH range for your garden soil
is right around 6 or 7 because this is the area where most
nutrients are readily available to your plants.
buy a soil test kit at most good garden centers or have your
soil professionally tested.
The pH measurement you will be
testing for is based on a number between 1 and 14. If your soil
tests 7, then it is neutral, if it tests higher than 7 it is
considered alkaline and if it tests lower than 7 it is
The pH of your soil tells you
whether your soil is acid or alkaline.
recognize the pH of products you use every day around the house
without even knowing about pH. For example distilled water is
perfectly balanced at 7. Battery acid has a pH of 0.3 (acidic)
and way down the scale; milk of magnesia has a pH of 10.5
While the pH scale of 1 to 14 doesn't sound
very precise due to the small spread in numbers, it should be
understood that the scale is considered logarithmic, meaning
that each pH value above 7 is TEN TIMES more alkaline or basic
than the number before it. The same holds true for each pH
number below 7, ten times more acidic than each number before
There are ways to render your soil more acidic or
more alkaline, just as you would add hot water to cold to make
the water warm. For example you can correct an acidic soil by
adding agricultural limestone to your garden soil. Similarly you
could add liquid seaweed to correct an alkaline soil test.
Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions and
recommendations as well as your soil test for direction.
Soil testing isn't only for gardening fanatics and
professionals, but the average gardener as well. Adjusting or
maintaining your soil to the correct pH levels will make more
nutrients available to your plants without adding additional
take months to adjust your soil pH but in the end, your garden
will be more fertile and healthy and even more economical to