Whether it’s a rutabaga or an improved, your plant is just as good as the soil it grows in. The two to the germs and nutrients readily available to the plant, an significant part the soil’s chemical makeup, is the pH level. The pH scale measures the amount of alkalinity or acidity. It ranges from1.0 to 14.0, with 7.0 marking the impartial level; a pH above 7.0 is alkaline and below 7.0 is acidic. A local Cooperative Extension Service can tests the pH of samples of garden soil. Soil can also be tested with do-it-yourself kits purchased from local centers.
Collecting Soil Samples
Clean all containers and tools that will be employed to collect the soil samples. Wash them with soapy water and then rinse to get rid of any residue from fertilizers or compounds that would influence the soil and alter the test results.
Collect samples of soil from various gardens to be tested but do not mix them. A pH test has to be performed for every single garden. Insert the trowel into the garden to a depth of 6 to 8 inches down. Collect 1 sample for each area from spots located throughout throughout the garden.
Set the samples into bucket or a plastic container. Remove rocks, sticks or any leaves, and crush. Mix completely.
Measure one cup of soil and place it in a container. Permit the soil to air dry. If the sample is going to be tested by a local extension support, seal the dried soil and tag it.
Using a Soil Testing Kit
Remove the cap of the pH test tube. This tube will be set by the color of the cap and varies with each kit.
Pour 10 ml of water into the test tube. This amount is marked on the test tube.
Add the pH chemical indicator to the distilled water. Based on the soil testing kit, this compound could be liquid or tablets.
Use the cap from the test tube to scoop 1 capful of soil. Put the cap filled to the test tube back with the soil. Invert the test tube ten times to combine water the soil and chemical.
Permit the soil to settle for a minute or until a clear, coloured solution is visible above the soil layer. Match the solution to the kit’s pH graph to see the test results.