Testing Soil pH the Old Fashioned Way

Posted on Sep 30 2009 - 4:30am by Mike Lieberman

There’s a lot out there on the importance of testing the pH balance of your soil in order to grow healthy vegetables. I wasn’t interested in buying some fancy pH test kit or something like that.

CleanAirGardening had a post a few weeks ago titled, “Dare you taste your soil?” It was about how they used to test the pH levels of their soil back in the day – by tasting it.

I took it as a personal challenge and test tasted my soil. No, I didn’t taste the soil of the cherry tomatoes that I urinated on.

The purpose of testing the pH of your soil is to test whether it’s acidic or basic. To put it into perspective lemons are acidic, sea salt water is basic and pure water is neutral.

From what I’ve seen a soil pH that is slightly acidic is optimal for growing.

If your soil is to acidic, you can add limestone in it to make it more basic. If it’s too basic, you can add more compost to make it more acidic.

So the results of me tasting my soil were – it wasn’t very good. Besides that it actually did taste a bit on the acidic side.

Just saved me at least $20.

How do you test your soil?