You need to know whether your soil is acid or alkaline, as different plants thrive in different soils. The soil pH is a number that describes how acid or alkaline your soil is. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. An acid soil has a pH value below 7.0 and above 7.0 the soil is alkaline. We have a list of plant and th PH that they will grow in HERE
Buy a soil test meter or a soil testing kit. Either of them cost less
than £10. You can carry out a test at any time of year.
A pH test measures soil acidity or alkalinity. A pH 7.0 is considered neutral. An acid soil has a pH value below 7.0. Above pH 7.0 the soil is alkaline.
pH 3.0 - 5.0
Very acid soil. Add lime to raise the pH to above 5.0. The addition of lime can help break up acid clay soils
pH 5.1 - 6.0
Acid soil. Ideal for ericaceous (lime-hating) plants such as rhododendrons, camellias and heathers. Add lime if other plants are grown.
pH 6.1 - 7.0
Moderately acid soil. A pH 6.5 is the best general purpose pH for gardens, allowing a wide range of plants to grow, except lime-hating plants. It is not usually necessary to add anything to improve soil pH at this level.
pH 7.1 - 8.0
Sulphur, iron sulphate and other acidifying agents can sometimes be added to reduce pH.
Generally speaking, it is easier to make soils more alkaline than it
is to make them more acid. Because different soil types react in
different ways to the application of lime you will have to add more
lime to clay soils and peaty soils than you will in sandy soils to
achieve the same result.
SEE OUR LIST OF pH values for plants HERE
To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more
Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils