1. Home
  2. Gardening Blog
  3. What is your soil pH and what is ideal?

What is your soil pH and what is ideal?


Baileys Fertiliser


21 September 2017

Seedlings In Dirt

What is your soil pH?

What is your soil pH and what is the ideal pH? If you want a successful and flourishing garden, you should become good friends with your pH!
Soil pH is a measure of the intensity of its alkalinity or acidity and has a major effect on chemical reactions. The pH scale runs from 1 to 14 units, with 7 being neutral; below 7 is acidic; above 7 alkaline. 

For most plants a soil pH of 6 to 7.5 will allow the maximum uptake of nutrients which is a good thing. You can purchase simple test kits to use at home to get a pH rating on your garden soil. Alternatively some garden centres will run free tests on your samples.  While you only need about a tablespoon of soil it is best to take samples from a few different locations around the area you wish to test, combine these by mixing then scoop up a good mix to use as your sample. 

Acid, neutral or alkaline what is best? 
Plants that grow naturally in peaty or alpine locations usually prefer a pH of around 5 to 6. Good examples are azaleas, camellias and blueberries. Plants that do best in high pH soils say 8 to 9 often include coastal dwelling varieties such as New Zealand Christmas tree, Cockys tongue (Templetonia) Grey Cushion Bush (Leucophyta). 
So one answer is to use the pH of your soil as a guide to suitable plants. Its worth noting that the soil pH can vary quite a lot around one garden.