How to Test the pH Level of Your Soil

By Maximum Yield
Published: July 14, 2017
Key Takeaways

Knowing your soil's pH values can help you solve many lawn and garden problems. Here's how to test your soil's pH levels.

Source: Submitted

Does a large area of your lawn not look good or do the vegetables in your garden seem unhealthy even after fertilizing them?


Well, your problem might actually be a problem with your soil’s pH and not your lawn and garden plants themselves. It’s a common problem that many people overlook.

If you know the exact pH of your soil, you will be able to take the necessary steps to significantly improve your soil condition. In this article, we will show you the steps on how to test soil pH.


Testing Your Soil's pH Level is Extremely Simple

Here are the required steps you will take and what you need to accurately test your soil’s pH:

Step 1: Assemble the required tools

  • Small shovel
  • pH test probe (can be bought at most home improvement or garden centers)
  • 2 liters of distilled water (pharmacies usually have this in abundance)

Step 2: Dig 4 holes


Dig four holes in some obscure places in your yard where they will not be an eyesore after you fill them back in.

These holes need to be around to be about 4-5 inches deep and about 6 inches in diameter.


Once you have the hole dug out, put only the loose soil back in the hole. You have to be extra careful not to put any grass, weeds, sticks, or other organic material back in the hole with the dirt because this can throw off the pH reading you will be taking.

Step 3: Make some mud

Once you have clean dirt only inside the holes you dug, it is time to mix this dirt into a muddy form. You will do this by adding half a liter of distilled water into the remaining dirt in each hole.

As your pour the distilled water into the hole, do it slowly so that it starts to saturate all the soil in the hole. Try not to make a mess; get as much water into the dirt in the hole as possible.

Once the water has been poured on the dirt, mix the dirt in each hole up so it forms a muddy mixture.

Step 4: Insert the pH probe into the mud

Now it is time to determine exactly what your soil’s pH is in the areas where you dug your holes. You do this by turning your pH probe on and inserting the metal probe end directly into the muddy mix.

Record on a piece of paper the pH reading on the probe's meter or digital readout. Take a few tests in each hole to make sure you are getting readings that are accurate and consistent.

And you're done!

Video Tutorial

Sometimes it is much easier to see a process being done than it is just to read about. If that is the case for you, check out this informative YouTube video. It will show you visually all the steps that we outlined above:

Your pH Test Results Will Help You Better Balance Your Soil

Properly adjusting your soil’s pH is fairly simple once you have tested your soil and figured out what its exact pH is. You can do so with the help of pH Up and pH Down products, or try using a variety of household products. Additional research will likely be required!

Once you have adjusted your soil's pH, the plants, grass, and other vegetation in your yard will be able to better absorb from the ground all the essential plant nutrients they need for healthy growth.


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Written by Maximum Yield | Publisher

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Maximum Yield Inc. is the print and online publisher behind Maximum Yield and Maximum Yield Cannabis magazines. With topics such as cannabis cultivation and consumption, hydroponics and controlled environment cultivation, as well as greenhouse, container, urban, and vertical growing, Maximum Yield is focused on teaching you how to reach your maximum yield by providing informative articles on the latest technologies and plenty of tips and tricks from grow experts.

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