Monday, April 29, 2013

What is a Home Soil Test Kit?

Home Soil Test Kit
Home soil test kits are found in garden centers, local hardware stores and are readily available online. Their job is to test the soil’s pH by using a small sample. They are easy to use and typically less expensive than sending a sample off to the lab.

What is Soil pH?

Basically, the pH level of the soil tells you how acidic, or not, the soil is. Acidity is measured using a numbers system, 0-14. If the home soil test kit measures 0-7, it is acidic. 7 and above is alkaline. A 7.0 means the soil is neutral, and for many plants, nutritious enough to grow.

What is Acidic Soil?

Acidic soil is what many gardeners refer to as sour. Using powdered limestone is a great way to make acidic soil neutral.

What is Alkaline Soil? 

Alkaline soil is on the sweeter side, and can be amended with ground sulfur.

Note: When amending soil, don’t expect to see results overnight. Some amendments take months to work their way into the soil. Even then, it’s okay not to have a perfect 7.0 pH. Most plants, unless otherwise stated, thrive in soil with a pH level between 6.5-6.8.

Using a home soil test kit let’s gardeners determine which types of plants will grow best in their existing soil and whether or not they need to add amendments such as lime, sulfur or organic materials.

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