Quick Soil pH Test

So I wanted to test the soil pH of a couple places in my yard. Flowering plants tend to be pretty reliable on the pH of the soil. The flowers of most plants can actually have their colors altered by changing the acidity of the soil. There are plenty of options out there to perform this test. The strips seem to be the most reliable, but the electronic devices in the market seem to be unreliable. Universities will usually perform soil tests in a lab for a small fee. For a quick and peek at what you're dealing with, red cabbage and distilled water can be used.

Some prefer to boil the cabbage in distilled water. I opted for using a food processor. Simply add a few leaves of red cabbage and add enough distilled water to fill a few small glasses. When the water is good and purple, strain out the solid bits of cabbage. I filled 4 small glasses, 3 of which I used for a color control(picture below). The left glass I added baking soda for a base, which turns the water green. The middle is just the purple cabbage water which is neutral. The right glass I added vinegar which turns the water pink indicating acidic.

The closest glass is my soil added to the cabbage water. It shows pretty neutral, but leaning a little to the alkaline side. Neutral is an ideal soil pH. To get the soil sample, use a probe to extract at least 6 inches of soil, and mix it thoroughly so the layers are blended and its nice and powdery. place a white paper towel or paper under the glasses to see the colors better if you have bad lighting.

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Matt Delashaw

Matt Delashaw

In August 2015 I graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Web development has since then been a passion so I started this blog to play around.

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