Testing Soil pH: Upgrade Your Plant Care Skills

Testing Soil pH: Upgrade Your Plant Care Skills

Testing the soil pH means multiple soil analysis that is done for different reasons. Geologists and geography students do it for research purposes. However, in this article, agricultural and industrial uses are noteworthy. For ordinary gardening purposes, we conduct soil tests to generally assess the concentration levels of plant supplements that are available to the plants. From this information, we can decide on fertilizer suggestions in horticulture.

More specific to agribusiness, a soil test means examining a soil sample to determine the composition, nutrient content, and other characteristics such as pH level or acidity. As soil components alter with time and soil supplements undergo more profound changes, the depth and timing of a test may influence test results. So, what is pH, and why is it important? Briefly, pH is a number indicating the corrosiveness or alkalinity of the soil. It is measured on a logarithmic scale where seven is impartial, lower values are more acidic, and higher values are more soluble.

Testing Soil pH: Upgrade Your Plant Care Skills
Testing Soil pH: Upgrade Your Plant Care Skills

Importance Of pH In Soil

Most crops can thrive in soil samples with pH levels between 6 (marginally acidic) and 7.5 (slightly soluble). Since most plant soils in Iowa are in this range, most nursery workers encounter few issues with soil pH. If you don’t have the right soil pH, you’ll be wasting from 20% to 70% of your garden fertilizer supplements. This is why knowing how to test pH in soil has much importance.

To perform a pH test, put a soil sample into a plastic container. Remove stones and pulverize any soil clumps. Repeat test twice or thrice on each soil sample to confirm results.

Laboratory Testing

How To Test The PH In Soil
Testing Soil pH: Complete Your Plant Care Skills

Research facility testing uses a standard pH meter, a stirrer with a mixing bar, measuring utensils, deionized water, a pH terminal, an ATC test, and buffers. We recommend a Sure-Flow™ anode because the easy-to-clean intersection never clogs.

  1. Weigh 20 g of soil sample and test in a 100 ml beaker.
  2. Add 20 ml of freshwater.
  3. Put it on a stirrer to mix for half an hour.
  4. Cover and wait for an hour.
  5. For more accurate preliminary testing, you have to experiment (both buffers and the soil test) at room temperature. A contrast in temperature will introduce errors in results.
  6. Experts suggest a 2-point calibration with a pH 7 and a pH 10 buffer arrangement. The terminal incline ought to be between 92 and 102%.
  7. Flush terminal and ATC with DI water and smear dry. Put tests within the soil test and degree pH and record estimation.

Elective Testing Of pH In Soil

On the off chance that you’re testing soil for recreational gardening, you will be able to use a pH analyzer with ATC and buffers for calibration.

  1. Place soil sample around 25% full in a test bump and include filtered water to cover the soil.
  2. Jostle the cap and shake the soil vigorously a couple of times.
  3. Let the blend stand for 10 minutes to break up the salts in the soil.
  4. Calibrate the pH analyzer with a pH 7 and a pH 10 buffer solution.
  5. Expel the opening and put the pH analyzer into the soggy soil slurry.
  6. Measure the pH level and record the results.


A slight contrast between the outcomes of the same soil test demonstrates an excellent method and great certainty in results.

One of the simplest ways to modify pH acidity levels in the soil is by adding compost. One option is to add an antacid source (such as ground limestone) to acidic soil or an acidic source (such as peat greenery or pine needles) to antacid soil. Verify this with specialists from a neighborhood agrarian expansion office, a neighborhood farmer’s club, or an agricultural college before you apply chemicals to rectify soil pH levels.


This article explained why a pH test is important. For your convenience, this article also summarized the procedure for testing for pH levels in soil.

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