Male testing soil sample ph value

How to Test the pH of the Soil in Your Garden

Monitoring the pH level of your soil is important to ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients they need. The pH level of soil can fluctuate due to a number of reasons, such as heavy rains or dry spells. As a result, it’s important to test the pH level of your soil on a regular basis.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do just that.

What You’ll Need

  • pH test kit (you can purchase one online or at a garden center)
  • Distilled water (if using an electronic pH tester)
  • Small spoon or trowel
  • Clean, clear container

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Begin by finding a flat surface outdoors where you can lay out all of your materials. You’ll want to make sure that the surface is clean so that there is no risk of contamination. Once you’ve found a suitable spot, go ahead and lay out all of your materials.

Step 2: Collect a Sample of Soil

Use your small spoon or trowel to scoop up a 2-inch wide by 2-inch deep sample of soil from different areas of your garden. Once you have collected several samples, put them all into your clean, clear container. Be sure not to add any plant material, rocks, or other debris to the container.

Step 3: Test the pH Level of Your Soil Sample(s)

Follow the instructions that came with your pH test kit to determine the pH level of your soil samples. If you’re using an electronic pH tester, be sure to use distilled water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Hand placing an eletronic pH tester in soil next to green plants.
Electronic pH tester

Note: Most plants prefer soil with a slightly acidic pH level – between 6 and 7. So if your soil tests outside of that range, you may need to take steps to adjust the pH level accordingly.


By regularly testing the pH level of your soil, you can ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients they need. While most plants prefer slightly acidic soil, some may require special care depending on their individual needs.

By following these simple steps, you can easily monitor the pH level of your soil and make sure that your plants are always healthy and thriving.