To a gardener dirt is more than dirt. Dirt is soil, the life force of all that you will plant in it. But then again, soil is more than just soil. Soil can have different pH levels. These pH levels will determine what type of plants will thrive in which soil.
You will often hear the terms acidic soil and alkaline soil when discussing or reading up on how to best care for your plants. It is important to understand what these terms mean before testing your own soil to see what you have. pH levels are determined on a scale of 1-14.
Acidic soil means that the pH level of your soil is below 7. Alkaline soil would have a pH level of 7 and above.
Generally garden plants thrive at pH levels between 6.5 and 7. However, some plants require higher or lower levels in order to really do well. That is why it is useful to know if you are dealing with acidic soil or alkaline soil if you are really going to take your gardening efforts seriously.
You can buy expensive pH testing kits at nurseries to test your soil or you can use this quick and easy DIY method using nothing more than baking soda and vinegar.
Here’s How To Test if Soil is Acidic Or Alkaline With Baking Soda and Vinegar
First you need two samples of soil in small containers, half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda.
1. Take your first soil sample and pour in the vinegar. If the soil begins to fizzle and bubble then you have alkaline soil. Your pH level is above 7.
2. If there is no reaction, take the second sample and pour in half a cup of water and half a cup of baking soda into the soil. If the soil bubbles then you have acidic soil. The pH level is below 7.
This method cannot give you a specific pH level number. These are general guidelines that can help you decide which plants would be best for your soil, or if you would like to amend your soil so that it is more hospitable to your gardening goals.
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