How to Prepare Soil for PH Testing


While it's possible to garden in nearly any soil, to get the best out of your plants you'll want to know the pH of the soil. When correct the pH will help the plants flourish. If the soil it is too acidic or too alkaline the plants may not thrive. Purchase a test kit and be ready to test as soon as the soil is prepared.

Step 1

Plant stakes at 10-foot intervals, lengthwise and widthwise, in the garden by loosely pushing them into the ground.

Step 2

Dig a hole at each stake that is 1 foot wide by 16 inches deep.

Step 3

Hold a cup or container along the bottom of the hole against an inside wall. Scrape soil from the wall with a trowel, allowing it to drop into the cup. Collect approximately 2 tbsp. of soil.

Step 4

Collect soil samples from each hole in the same cup. Mix the samples well and use this mixture to test the pH.

Step 5

Refill the holes and smooth out the garden bed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use a clean cup, spoon and trowel that have no remnants of other soil or debris; this will help to ensure a more accurate reading.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes or sticks
  • Tape measure, if needed
  • Shovel
  • Plastic cup or container
  • Hand trowel
  • Plastic spoon


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: how to prepare soil for pH testing, testing soil for pH, soil pH testing

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.