Methods for Testing Soil PH
Hi, I'm Ali Reynolds with Ali's Organics. And, I'm going to show you different ways to test the pH in the soil. There's different methods, and personally, I think pH is probably one of the most important things to check in your soil, because, depending on what you're growing, that's where it's so important to know what your pH is. So, like, if you were going to grow blueberries, you'd want it at 4.0 to a 4.5, whereas most plants will grow in a range of 6.5 to a seven, which is, seven is neutral. The range in pH level is a zero to a 14, and of course seven being neutral, right in the middle, which is what we want to strive for. There's several different little methods that we could do. There's a little in-home kit that's really simple, it's just, sometimes, there's just a little pill inside of a little vial, and you're just adding some soil to a certain level, and then adding some water. And, I like to use distilled water for these. And then, you just take it, and you measure along your pH level to see what color it matches. And then, that gives you a good range. And, another method that you could do, oh, and besides that, there's another kit that you can go even further, that does more than just pH. It's a little more elaborate for testing for your pH. It's a little electronic meter, and you always want to wipe the probe on it. And then, you want to take the first two inches of your soil away. And then, you actually want to take some distilled water. It's really important to use distilled water, because it's neutral. If you're adding just regular tap water to it, it'll mess with the pH. So, you want to make sure you use the distilled. So, you just want to take that, and basically just soak that area where you're going to be sticking the probe. Muddy is just fine. And then, we kind of want to rinse this off, too - your probe with the distilled water. Just a sample is turning your probe on, sticking it down in there, and you want to wait for one minute. And, when one minute is over, you'll pull that out, read your meter. And, this one is a 6.5, which is actually lower than I've been. We're usually pretty high here. So, another option that you have is to take a soil sample from your garden, and take it to your extension office. They offer sometimes free or low fee for doing a soil sample. If you're just doing the pH, it's really inexpensive. If you want to do a broad range, then you can do more. But, they offer a kit that usually contains a little bag and a little box, and you'll just do a soil sample. So, you'll dig down about inches, and you want to do this in several spots of your garden. And, you'll take some soil from down in deep, and then put it in a bucket, and from all of the different areas of your garden. Then, mix it together. They really only need about a cup or less of the soil, and no more. That's just another option that you can take if you don't want to be doing your own pH testing. So, there's a few methods for testing for your pH.