At-Home Soil Testing Methods
Looking for ways to test your soil without hiring an expensive contractor to come do the job? Then you’ll be happy to know there are many soil testing methods you can do on your own.
These at-home methods are primarily designed for testing your soil’s pH level. For soil testing methods that involve checking for contaminants such as lead and toxic metal, you will need an at-home kit where the actual soil testing is conducted by a lab.
Testing your soil’s pH levels can be done without the assistance of a lab. Knowing whether your soil is alkaline or acidic is one way to learn if the roots of your plants will be able to absorb essential nutrients. If you’re having difficulty growing plants in the soil around your home, it could be because your soil is too alkaline or too acidic.
Is there anything wrong with soil that’s too alkaline or too acidic? Not necessarily, it just limits what can be grown in the soil. When you know the pH of your soil you can then use that as a starting point to find out which types of plants can best absorb the nutrients from your soil. So you won’t get frustrated trying to grow onions (acidic-friendly) in soil that’s more alkaline based, for example.
The beauty of these tests is that they can be done using ingredients found around the house, such as vinegar and baking soda.
Soil Testing Methods: Vinegar and Baking Soda
Simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda can tell you a lot about the pH level of your soil.
- Start conducting this method by collecting a cup of soil from different areas around the home, then separate two spoonfuls into different containers.
- Add a half cup of vinegar to the soil you collected, then wait to see if it fizzes. If it fizzes, then you have yourself alkaline soil.
- If the first container doesn’t fizz, move on to the next one. With your other container of soil and add distilled water until the two spoonfuls of soil are muddy.
- Add a half cup of baking soda to the muddy soil and wait to see if it fizzes. If it fizzes, then you have acidic soil.
If you went through this entire test and neither containers of soil had any reaction, then you have neutral soil.
Soil Testing Methods: Cabbage Water
Have some cabbage in your fridge? Then you can test your soil’s pH levels with ease. Here’s how:
- Add two cups of distilled water into a sauce pan
- Add 1 cup of chopped red cabbage to the sauce pan
- Let the cabbage simmer in the water for at least 5 minutes
- Remove the pan from the heating element and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
- After sitting for 30 minutes, strain the water from the pan into a bowl.
The strained liquid will come out blue, indicating a neutral pH level. Hold on, because you’re not done yet. Next, fill up 2 teaspoons of soil in a jar and add in some of your your freshly brewed cabbage water. Shake it up and wait for at least 30 mins. Your soil is acidic if it turns pink, or alkaline if it turns blue/green.
Soil Testing Methods: At-Home Kit
If you want to dig deeper into your soil and lean more than what a pH test can provide, what you may be looking for is an at-home soil testing kit.
We at Environmental Innovative Technologies specialize in soil testing kits for heavy and toxic metals. Soil contaminated toxic heavy metals can cause serious long term health effects, which is why you owe it to yourself to get a testing kit if you feel as though there’s something off with your soil.
Our test results will clearly let you know if there is any risk posed by contaminants present in your soil. To get started, order one of our legally defensible, and laboratory certified soil testing kits today.
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