When designing and planting your garden for next year, you need to know whether the soil is acid or alkaline, as different plants thrive in different soils. The soil pH is a number that describes how acid or alkaline your soil is. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral, an acid soil has a pH value below 7.0 and above 7.0 the soil is alkaline.
Different plants like a different pH levels and if your soil chemistry is not right for the plant, it can make a real difference to the results you get from your garden. Plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons need acid soil and will thrive in the right conditions.
Here is a really simple test that you can do at home, it will not give you the exact pH but will give you a general idea about the acidity/alkalinity of your soil.
- Perform your soil test by placing a sample into two separate cups or containers.
- Add vinegar to one. If it fizzes your soil is alkaline.
- If not, add some water to the second cup and stir.
- Add baking soda. If it fizzes you have acidic soil.
- If neither have a reaction your soil is pH balanced and is neutral.