Earth Systems Science, Inc.
Soil pH Test Notes
Using strips pHydrion test paper is an easy way to get a general idea of soil acidity (acid) or alkalinity (base). The pH scale goes from 1 (acid) to 14 (alkali) with 7.0 as neutral. Most soil nutrients are more soluble (able to be dissolved) when the soil pH is about 6.5 – 7.0. This is close the good pH range for many soil organisms, such as earthworms and bacteria (6.0-8.0). Knowing the soil pH of your site will help you select plants that will flourish better in your habitat.
Materials / Equipment Needed:
1) A soil sample (about 1 tablespoon will do);
2) pHydrion test paper
3) Distilled water
4) a plastic cup
5) measuring spoons (1 tablespoon) Do not use this spoon for food preparation.
7) pencil / pen and notepad
To do the soil pH test:
Step 1. Put about 1 tablespoon of soil in a clean container.
Step 2. Add distilled water and stir until the sample is as thick as a milkshake.
Step 3. Let it stand for 1 hour. Check it periodically and add water if needed.
Step 4. Put a piece of test paper in the solution. Leave it in for about 1 minute.
Step 5. Take the test strip out and rinse it with distilled water.
Step 6. Match the color of the test strip to the standard color chart that came with the test paper. Keep a record of your test results.
Note: the picture of the pHydrion color test chart is shown here. This is a test to see if the colors shown on the webpage are adequate for our recon soil sampling.
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