3.2 Soil pH

Soil pH

Soil health indicator: pH of soil

If you have a pH meter available this is a quick and easy technique for recording soil conditions. Measure the pH value to track how the soil changes and improves over time. Biologically active soils (healthy soils) tend to bring soil closer to a neutral pH over time.  In order to really understand how your soil pH is changing as you improve the soil health, it’s a good idea to have access to a “control field” perhaps a neighbour’s field (with permission), where the management remains constant. It is also interesting to compare soil pH changes over time in a single field and between fields on the farm.

Equipment:

  • Soil pH Pen (e.g Bluelab)
  • pH buffer solution (pH4 and pH7)

Doing test:

  1. Locate your chosen sample site – you can use the GPS mapping feature on the app to do this if you’ve recorded the sample locations previously.
  2. Calibrate device (once per day of use)
  3. Follow instructions on device – normally:
  4. “dib” a narrow hole into the soil (as wide as the probe)
  5. Insert probe into hole
  6. Leave for a few seconds in order for the reading to stabilise
  7. Record the value on the app

What to record in the Sectormentor for Soils app:

  • pH value on device

Resources:

https://www.bluelab.com/Product-Manuals/Soil-pH-Pen-Manuals/Bluelab-SoilpHPen-Manual-ENG-JUN13.aspx