What determines if the Soil is Acid or Alkaline?

Gardening is a hobby that is dear to many people. Gardeners take a long time before planting to analyze the soil, the temperature and the weather. Everything is done accordingly so that the plant will not suffer after it has been planted. When you want to determine whether the soil sample is acidic or alkaline, which is also called basic, the test will take measurements of concentration on hydrogen ions in its molecules. It will only make you frustrated to see your plants in your backyard or garden die just after few days after being planted. It may happen to other people, but you can prevent it from happening to you because sometimes the problem comes from the soil in your backyard or garden that doesn’t suit the shrub or plants that you choose. You should know what kind of soil that you have so you could choose the right plants and make the most of your backyard or garden. Here are the steps on how to run a soil test.

The soil sample will indicate a more acidic soil if it contains a higher level of hydrogen. Here are the information on how to determine the soil’s acidity and alkaline level.

How to Determine the Soil’s Acidity and Alkaline Level

  • Plant growth and fertility are much affected by the texture of the soil. The definition of soil texture refers to how fine or coarse and the soil’s mineral is. The pH scales ranges between 0 to 14, which measures the acidity and alkalinity of a sample. A lower number informs more acidic soil while higher number shows more alkaline soil. A neutral constant on the scale is represented by the pH number of 7, which is also the pH level for water.
  • The importance of pH reading will determine the level of certain nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen, which is essential for the growth of some plants. The higher the level of nitrogen available to plants, the more level of alkaline in the soil.
  • By knowing the pH level of your soil, you will know the amount and type of herbicides or pest-control chemicals that can be used effectively to your soil and plants. For example, acidic soil does not absorb chemicals well and the chemicals will only run off into the ground water. This will result on water supplies pollution and can be dangerous and even lethal for consumption.
  • Gardening, in general, is a fun hobby. It is fun as we, as gardeners, get to try so many things. We get to explore when it comes to gardening. You can measure the acidity and the alkaline level of your soil with a pH meter that contains reactive dyes. The dyes will measure the pH level of the soil by changing the color according to the level of the hydrogen ions detected. It will also give reading on how acidic or alkaline the soil sample is, which is usually shown within a range.

Image Credit:

Flickr CC

Additional Reading: