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Poor man's soil test

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Marcos, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    I found this interesting tidbit on another website, and thought it would be worth posting here.
    (I remember...my dad used to do this sometimes)

    This soil test is for the truly adventurous. But it is also very inexpensive and will give you a rough estimate of the pH level of your soil.

    Gather two samples of soil and place them in separate glass jars. You should fill the jars about 1/3 full of soil. Next add water to both to create mud. Next, add a tablespoon of baking soda to one jar and a tablespoon of vinegar to the other.
    If the jar with the vinegar begins to fizz, then you have acidic soil. If the jar with the baking soda begins to fizz, then you have alkaline soil. If neither jar begins to fizz, then you have neutral soil.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    I believe you have that backwards. If the Vinegar reacts then the soil is alkaline. If the baking soda reacts then the soil is acidic.
  3. Dynamic

    Dynamic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    Well I tell you, sometimes there is some real crazy thoughts/ideas on this site but this one is a must try for me. Great post. Thanks.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    My el-cheapo pH meter doesn't fizzle an stuff. This sounds much more exciting! J/K Marcos.... all in fun. Reminds me of those kid's chemistry sets when I was a kid... a couple of centuries ago. They stopped making them after several incidents of singed eyebrows, some controlled explosions and several house fires.
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    No, that's exactly how it was worded...

    But mistakes do happen!
    It's worth double-checking.
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Thanks Marcos. Interesting stuff. I use a Kelway pH meter (hand held & fast). A.M. Leonard has 'em for about $100.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    What do you expect when you go to a site like that????

    Pour Vinegar into a acid like battery acid Then pour Vinegar into baking soda. Which shows the greater reaction??? I rest my case.
  8. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    If you want to go way back try tasting the soil.
    Thats where the "sweet" and "sour" terms come from.

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