Do-It-Yourself Soil Tests
Want to learn more about your soil? Here are two quick and easy tests you can do at home.
Acid or Alkaline
To test your soil's pH, all you need is a soil sample, distilled water and litmus paper (from a hobby shop or science supply store).
Mix a small bit of soil with the distilled water and touch the litmus paper to the soil-water solution. Now, to get your answer, simply match the color of the litmus paper to a pH chart (they're usually packaged with the litmus paper).
This hands-on test is a simple way to get an idea if your soil is sand, clay or a loamy mixture.
Moisten a small bit of soil and rub it between your thumb and forefinger. Rough and gritty soil that barely sticks together is sand; loams (a mixture of clay, silt and sand) feel medium-textured, and smooth and sticky fine textures indicate clay.