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Not all plants are alike. Some like soil that is more acidic, whereas others like soil that has a higher alkali content. If you already have a type of plant in mind, you may have to add a soil amendment to make your plant thrive. If the soil balance of nutrients isn’t right for your plant, it just won’t grow to its potential.
Blueberries, beans, broccoli, kale, peas, and onions prefer acidic soil, whereas cabbage, cantaloupe, turnips, and leafy greens prefer alkaline soil. Generally speaking, most fruits and veggies prefer neutral soil, though.
Instead of buying a kit at the home-and-garden store or sending off a soil sample to a testing center, you can do a few basic soil tests at home without much cost involved.
In order to get accurate results, it’s best if you get an accurate sample of your soil.
The Alkalinity Test (Vinegar)
The Acidity Test (Baking Soda)
The vinegar and baking soda test won’t give you an exact pH level of your soil, but it will tell you if the soil is leaning acidic or alkaline. For an exact pH range, you would need to purchase a pH soil testing kit or send it off to a local cooperative extension for evaluation.
Based upon your soil test results, and what you plan to plant, you may need to add something to the soil to make it more hospitable. Generally speaking, a more accurate test (that give you an actual pH number) will give you a better idea of how much and what types of amendments you’ll need to add to your soil.
The most common soil amendments include:
© 2018 Diane Lockridge