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San Diego

How to Test Your Soil Using Baking Soda & Vinegar

Posted by San Diego Landscaper on Wednesday, 20 June , 2018
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In our previous entry, we spoke at length about the importance of soil. As we said then, our very lives are dependent upon the soil. But how do you know if your soil is healthy?

In this issue, we’ll share tips for how you can test your soil. We’ll talk about how to do it with a test kit, as well as providing a gardener’s hacking tool that enables you to test your soil without a kit.

What kind of soil do we have in San Diego?

Here and in other areas of Southern California, the soils are mostly composed of thick clay that’s tough to break through when it’s wet or dry. Because of its density, however, clay soil can retain moisture well and is richer in nutrients than many other types of soil.

What exactly am I testing my soil for?

When testing your soil, you’re paying close attention to the pH scale, which has a scale of 0-14. Any reading below 7 is classified as being acidic soil, while numbers above 7 indicate alkaline soil. The sweet spot for plant growth is 6.5.

If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it’s unlikely that your plants will be able to absorb the right amount of nutrients necessary for growth.

How do I test my soil?

Most of the soil testing kits available will include vials, tablets and a chart for understanding the results. If you have a testing meter, all that’s needed is to insert the probe into the soil and read the results.

If you do not have a test kit, you can still get a fairly accurate soil test reading with vinegar and baking soda. Here’s how:

  • Gather one cup of soil from different areas of your lawn or garden.
  • Place equal amounts into two separate containers.
  • Add one-half cup of vinegar to the soil and check for a reaction. If the soil fizzes, your soil is likely alkaline and has a pH level of 7-8.
  • If, however, it doesn’t fizz, combine the soil in the other container with distilled water and one-half cup of baking soda. If there is fizzing, your soil is likely acidic with a pH level of 5-6.
  • If there’s still no reaction, your soil pH is probably just fine.

For help with keeping your soil healthy, call the San Diego landscaping experts at Juniper Landscape Company!

To keep your soil in great shape, give us a call here at Juniper Landscape Company. We offer a host of landscaping services for practically any budget or project size. Our number is 619-334-9464 or send an email


Juniper Landscape Company is a provider of professional landscaping services in San Diego, we strive to make San Diego a beautiful place by doing business with integrity and creativity.


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