How to Test the pH Level of Soil With a pH Meter


A soil's pH is the soil's level of iron content. The pH of a soil is directly responsible for how many nutrients a plant's roots will be able to absorb from the soil. In acidic soils--soils with a pH of 7.0 or lower--a plant struggles to absorb calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium, while in Alkaline soils--those with a pH reading of 7.0 or above--vegetation has a hard time absorbing copper, zinc, boron, manganese and iron. Testing soil with a pH meter will tell you exactly how high or low the pH really is.

Step 1

Collect soil samples from several areas in the garden, paying special attention to areas where the soil is different from others.

Step 2

Place the samples into the same plastic container and shake the samples together.

Step 3

Remove 2 tbsp. of a soil sample from your container, mix it with an equal amount of distilled water, and whisk it together.

Step 4

Let the mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 5

Turn on your pH meter and remove the protective cap, exposing its testing sensor, or attach the probes of the pH meter.

Step 6

Touch the sensor to the soil until a reading appears on the meter. Record the reading for later use.

Things You'll Need

  • Several plastic containers
  • Whisk
  • Distilled water
  • pH meter


  • Gemplers: Using a pH Meter
  • Thermofisher Scientific: Gardening and Soil pH
  • Clemson University Extension: Changing the pH of Your Soil
Keywords: soil pH, pH meter, test pH meter, test soil pH, test pH level

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.