Testing Your Own Garden Soil

To test for acidity: In order to do a quick soil test, wet a small sample of soil and put in a pinch of baking soda. If it fizzes at all, it might be too acidic for most garden plants and vegetables. Ashes from wood can improve this type of soil.

To test for alkalinity: Put a few drops of cider vinegar to the soil. If it fizzes, it is alkaline. Use peat moss to reduce alkalinity.

Source: Reader's Digest 1001 Hints and Tips For Your Garden

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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October 12, 2006

How does one make his own soil testing kit?

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7 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

How do I test my soil? Do I hire someone to do it or is it a DYI project?

By judy from Riverside, CA


June 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

In my state the University has a cooperative extention service that does soil testing. When I contacted them they sent me instructions and a box to put the soil sample in to mail back to them. In a couple of weeks I recieved a print out and information on how to improve the soil. The cost was about 10 dollars.

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I was wondering, how do you test the soil in your garden?

Thank you.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Joyce from Janesville, WI


May 24, 20090 found this helpful
Click on: "Have a garden question?"

Here's another site with more telephone numbers:

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May 29, 20090 found this helpful

Go to your local Extension Service Office. They have a kit that you can buy (reasonable) and they will tell you how to collect the soil in different areas. You then send the sample away where it will be checked and you will get a reply.When you talk to the extension office-they explain every thing to you. Good luck. If you don't test your soil, how will you know how to amendent it. You will be wasting money, if you add some thing to your soil that is not necessary. Jeannnette

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April 30, 2010

I purchased a premium soil test kit by Ferry Morse. I followed the directions to the letter. I was testing for PH, I came up with a color that is not on the color chart. It came up an olive drab, army green. Any input would be appreciated.

The kit also comes with a filtering device for other tests. I didn't have any luck with it either. Couldn't come up with a color that came close to the chart.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Dan


April 30, 20100 found this helpful

Call your county extension office. They should be able to help you.

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February 7, 2017

If you're starting a new garden or your plants and flowers just aren't growing well despite your best efforts, then having your soil tested probably makes sense. This page shows you how to test your own soil.

Testing Your Soil

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May 24, 2009

By testing your soil in your lawn every 3-4 years, you can keep on track if your lawn needs to have nitrogen added or not. Nitrogen is the key nutrient needed for a thick, green lawn.

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