Real World Gardener How to Measure Soil pH and Why We Should in Design Elements

May 26th, 2016

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Now that you know what your soil pH is in most of your garden, or you’re going to find out soon, what’s the ideal pH for plants to grow in?

What can you do if you don’t have that ideal pH and how do you actually use that pH kit?

Let’s find out in this segment about soil pH. I'm talking with Glenice Buck, Consulting Arborist and Landscape Designer.

Alkaline soil pH


Acid soil pH

Just a reminder that soil pH is important because it influences how easily plants can take up nutrients from the soil.




If you’re soil’s too acidic or too alkaline, it will take quite a few months to change the pH, but that doesn’t mean you should give up now.


Measuring pH is easy even with the most basic kit.

All you need to do is dig up some soil samples from several parts of your garden, and spritz them with some water, but don't make the soil sample soggy. Next add a few drops of dye indicator fluid followed by a few shakes of the powder (Barium sulphate.)

Wait a couple of minutes and the powder should colour up.

You can then compare the colour of the powder with the soil pH chart.

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