What is Soil pH?

The pH scale measures acidity or alkalinity of the soil.  The scale runs from 1 – 14.  Most plants grow between 4.5 and 8.0 pH, 5.0 is considered a high acid content, 7.5 is considered a high alkaline content and 7.0 is considered neutral.

Why is the pH of soil important?

It’s important because the pH of the soil determines what nutrients are available to the roots.  Nitrogen, phosphorus and potash are available when dissolved in water or soil moisture.  Nutrients will not dissolve when soil pH is too acidic or alkaline.

Knowing the pH of your soil when planting garden/landscape beds and the preferred pH that your plant likes growing in will help the success of your landscape.

A soil pH of above 7.5 and below 5.0 can greatly affect how your plants uptake nutrients.  Most plants thrive in a pH between 5.5 and 7.0

How do I test my soil pH?

There are several options on soil testing, we offer a soil pH meter and soil test kits (capsules).  For accurate test results, you need to collect samples from different areas where you are working that are about 4 inches deep.  Best way to collect a sample without digging holes, try using an apple corer.  If you are using the capsule test kit, you will need to use distilled water.

Adjusting pH

Raising and lowering pH takes time, so do not expect rapid changes.  When your pH needs raised, you will want to apply Limestone or Hydrated Lime.  To lower your pH, you will apply Iron Sulfate or Aluminum Sulfate.