• Katy Gardener

How to Litmus Test your garden soil

Updated: May 28

During lockdown we have purchased more plants than ever before, and it's only during these quarantined weeks that I've properly read the plant labels.


This week we came across instructions to plant in acidic soil, and embarrassingly we were not certain whether our soil was acidic or alkaline. It turns out you can do a very simple test. Watch here:


Here are the instructions to test both ways:

  1. Scoop soil into a jar and pour in some vinegar. If the soil bubbles or fizzes, the soil is alkaline.

  2. If no reaction occurs, scoop a fresh sample of soil into another jar. This time make a water mixture using baking powder and pour into the jar. If the soil bubbles or fizzes, it is acidic.

  3. If you had no reaction during either test, you have neutral, balanced soil. Lucky you!

  4. To naturally make your soil more acidic add a dash of vinegar to the watering can, or add coffee granules to the soil.

  5. To naturally make your soil more alkaline you can add the baking powder water mix to the soil.

As a rule of thumb it's easier to select your plants based on the type of soil you have. Here are some helpful links from Gardener's World to help you select the right plants for your soil type:

10 Best plants for acidic soils

10 Best plants for alkaline soils


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