Each person grows and maintains a garden for the sake of achieving a healthy harvest and a beautiful garden as an end result. That’s the single reason why many put so many efforts in building their garden no matter what type of garden you are trying to grow.
However, what many fail to understand is that your soil needs to be healthy if you want your plants to grow healthy. This thing doesn’t apply for just a single day! Your soil needs to be healthy at all times only then you will get healthy harvests.
For making a soil healthy you need to make sure it’s fertile enough and in order to make it fertile, there are literally many ways you can pursue. But making your soil fertile is just not enough. You need to make sure that the plants are able to absorb the nutrients from the soil. This is done by maintaining a certain pH level of soil which many fail to understand and do.
What is pH & Why Is It Important?
The term “pH” is the short form of “potential hydrogen” and it measures the consistency of hydrogen in a particular substance so that it can be known how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Testing your soil for the pH levels is highly crucial to make sure that your plants are able to absorb the nutrients of the soil and your efforts are not going to a complete waste.
The levels of pH in a substance are measured on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 14 being 7 considered as neutral. Anything above 7 is considered to be alkaline and below 7 as acidic. The higher or lower the number the more severe is the case. Pure water is said to have a pH level of 7 and is considered to be neutral. A healthy soil should have a pH level that ranges from 6.0-7.5.
A healthy soil should have a pH level that ranges from 6.0-7.5.
How To Test The pH Level Of your Soil?
Generally, pH strips are used to take the pH test of a substance but it is not possible to use a mere pH strip to test if the soil is acidic or alkaline.
Ideally, it is recommended to get your soil tested periodically from a certified laboratory for an exact result. But you can do the soil pH level test at home for a near estimate.
- Firstly, you need to purchase a pH level test probe from the market. It is easily available at any garden supply store or other specialized general stores.
- Start digging small multiple holes at different spots in your garden about 4-6 inches deep using a trowel.
- Fill up the holes with distilled water. Do not use regular water as it will not be able to provide an accurate result.
- Mix up the soil with the water to make it muddy and after it gets muddy put the test probe into it after gently cleaning it with a clean cloth.
- Wait for a couple minutes for accurate readings to pop up. Observe and note the various pH levels obtained from all the holes to get a rough pH level idea of your soil.
VINEGAR AND BAKING SODA
- Start taking a few soil samples from multiple spots in your garden from about 4-6 inches below the surface.
- Distribute these soil samples into 2 containers. Make sure that the soil samples are free from any unnecessary substances such as rocks, sticks, and pebbles as they can become a hindrance for accurate results.
- Add vinegar to any one container and if it fizzes then your soil is alkaline. If not then move on to the next step.
- Add water to the other container to make it muddy and then add baking soda to it and if it fizzes then your soil is acidic.
- If none of them seems to be fizzing then your soil level is close to neutral.
If your soil ends up to be too acidic then you can fix up this problem by adding quicklime to the soil up to the level where it gets in the ideal soil pH level range. On the other hand, if your soil ends up to be too alkaline then add some sulfur or organic matter to make it less alkaline. Keep doing this until you attain the ideal soil pH level which is 6.0-7.5.