Why is wet soil acidic

Determine the garden soil - this is how it's done

The condition of the soil in the garden plays a very important role for the plants to thrive. But how do you determine the garden soil?

Most plants have a certain soil quality requirement. So they will only thrive profusely if you plant these in the right soil. Many plants also adapt to the soil conditions, which is why they unfortunately often die. This is why it is so important that you make the right plant selection for each type of soil.

The problem is often that hobby gardeners in particular do not even know what kind of soil they have in their garden. Accordingly, they are also surprised when many plants do not want to thrive properly or even die. We will therefore explain to you here how to determine the nature of the soil in your garden. With this knowledge, you will certainly no longer use the wrong plants in the garden.

Determine the garden soil - explained step by step

»Step 1 - determine soil type:

There are many different types of soil, all of which have very specific characteristics. With this you can easily determine the type of soil in your garden. Just take a soil sample and examine it a little more closely. In this overview you will find the individual characteristics of the soil types:

  • sandy soils - very light, but often poor in nutrients
  • Bog soils - black, very moist soil
  • heavy soils - often clayey, very fertile, with waterlogging, become extremely hard in summer
  • calcareous soils (also called alkaline soils) - light, stony soils, permeable and fertile
  • Lime-free soils (also called acidic soils) - store moisture well, can be neutralized with lime

And, were you able to analyze what soil you have in the garden? If not, move on to step 2. If so, please skip to step 3.

»Step 2 - have a professional soil analysis carried out:

A professional soil analysis gives you precise information about which soil is to be found in your garden. A nutrient analysis is also carried out at the same time and the values ​​of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur and other trace elements (such as iron, copper, zinc, etc.) are determined. And this is how it is carried out:

Winter in particular is ideal for a so-called soil sample. To do this, you need to take a little soil from the individual garden beds in different places. It is ideal if you dig up different soil depths and mix them together. You can then hand in the soil samples to the responsible agricultural office and have them analyzed. In advance, however, you should inform yourself exactly about the costs and, ideally, once again have a precise explanation of where and how much soil you have to take and also give.

»Step 3 - determine the pH value:

If you have had a professional soil analysis carried out, the pH value of your garden soil will be automatically given to you. If you have determined the type of soil yourself, you now have to determine the pH value yourself. This is important because not every plant thrives in every soil. One needs acidic soil to thrive and the other doesn't. The rule is that most plants get along quite well with an acidity (i.e. pH value) of 5.5 to 7.0. There are exceptions, however, which is why you should rather determine the pH value.

As a rule, garden soils are classified as follows depending on the pH value:

  • pH below 4.5 = acidic soil
  • pH value of 5.5 = sandy soil
  • pH value between 6.5 and 7 = normal soil
  • pH value above 7.2 = alkaline soil

The best way to determine this value is to buy a pH soil test set. We recommend, for example, the NEUDORFF PH soil test set:

This is very easy to use. You can use it to determine the pH value of your garden soil in just four steps:

  1. Put some soil in the supplied tubes
  2. Fill the tubes with water
  3. add one tablet
  4. Compare the color with the information on the set and determine the pH value

If there are health concerns, a Geiger counter can be used to check whether there is radioactive radiation in the ground. This is rarely the case and is mainly practiced by garden owners who live near a nuclear power plant.