If you’re new to gardening, planning a new garden or general planting, one of the first things to do before you start is to establish what sort of soil you have. This is due to different plants thriving in different types of soils.
What is Soil pH?
Soil pH is a measurement which indicates whether the soil is acidity or alkalinity. The scale is from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. 7 to 0 is the increase in acidic soil and 7 to 14 indicates the soil is more alkaline.
If your soil is acidic, it means that different plants will thrive, including ericaceous (acid-loving) plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias.
If your soil is more alkaline, then ericaceous plants will struggle to grow in your garden unless you grow them in pots of ericaceous compost. Plants such as lily of the valley, phacelia, lavender and honeysuckle flourish in these soils.
How to test soil pH?
Gardman have several accessories to help with soil testing:
All of these are reasonably priced and can be picked up in most garden centres, you can find your local stockist on our website. Alternatively, you can get a good indication by looking over your garden fence to see what’s thriving in your neighbours’ garden!
- Dig a hole in the garden soil about 10cm (4 inches) deep. Take a small amount of soil from the bottom of the hole and place inside the test tube up to the first level.
- Open the capsule and carefully tip the contents onto the soil in the test tube.
- Top with rainwater to the fourth level
- Shake well and allow to settle
- Match the colour of the liquid with the easy to use pH chart