One of the most important factors in the cultivation of plants is the pH of the soil. The acidity of the soil influences, among other things, the efficiency of water and nutrient uptake. Checking the pH of the soil, i.e. making the soil pH, is not that difficult. Below we present a home way to check soil pH in a garden / grow tent. Check what will be needed to test the acidity of the substrate. Learn how to take a sample for testing and how to test the pH of the soil.
What is soil PH?
The pH of the soil describes the ratio of hydrogen ions (symbol H +) to hydroxide ions (symbol OH). We can distinguish several types of soil according to the pH reaction: strongly acidic soils (with a pH below 4.5), acidic soils (pH between 4.6 and 5.5), slightly acid soils (pH between 5.6 and 6.5), neutral soils (pH between 6.6 and 7.2) and alkaline soils (with a pH above 7.2).
Perfect PH for plants
Plants most often prefer neutral or slightly acidic soils. However, when growing plants in the garden, it is not uncommon to encounter the problem of acidification of the substrate. Therefore, before we start taking specific steps towards planting plants in the garden, it is recommended to carefully measure the acidity of the soil.
How are soil samples collected for the pH test?
If we want to obtain a reliable soil pH, we must first of all remember about the correct collection of soil samples. How is it done? The most important thing is that samples are taken from many places in the garden. It is recommended to take at least 3-4 soil samples for every 100 m2, but in fact the more the better. Usually the soil sample is taken from a depth of about 20 cm. Of course, one must bear in mind that the soil sample should not be taken immediately after fertilization, as such a treatment may significantly affect the test result.
Types of instruments for checking soil PH
Color measuring instruments - litmus solutions or papers are usually available in gardening stores. Such instruments change color upon contact with the soil. On this basis, the result can be compared with the legend, where each color is assigned to a given pH. acid meters with an indicator - most often they are placed in several places in the garden, by inserting them into the ground. After about a minute, you can read the test result.
Electronic devices - they work like acid meters with a pointer, but they can provide greater accuracy of the test. At the same time, they are more expensive devices. We will pay much more for an electronic device for soil pH testing, which is why it is a solution that is recommended to people involved in large-scale plant production.