Basic Soil Test

Learn more about your soil with these two quick and easy at-home soil tests.

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).

Soil Texture

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.

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