Soil pH Testing

Grow healthier plants that are more resistant to disease and insects with a balanced soil.

Before planting trees, shrubs and grass, it’s best to first identify the pH of your soil. pH is a measure of your soil acidity or alkalinity. A proper pH helps plants to absorb, food, water and other trace elements more easily. Your plants will also grow healthier and resist diseases and insects better with the correct soil pH.

Free pH Soil Testing

Hicks Nurseries will test your soil pH level for free. Bring a ½ cup of completely dry soil to our Lawn & Garden Information Desk any time for a free pH soil test while you wait. pH meters and kits are also available for sale for at-home, on-the-spot soil testing.

Once you know your pH level our sales associates can help you identify if any further action is required.

What is pH?

pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity of soil on a scale ranging from 0 to 14; neutral soil has a pH of 7.0.

  • Acidic soils have a pH reading below 7.0.
    • Most plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
    • Most lawns prefer a pH of 6.2 to 6.8 (6.5 is optimum).
  • Alkaline soils have a pH reading which measures above 7.0.
    • Vines such as honeysuckle, clematis and morning glory prefer alkaline soils.

What is Lime?

Lime, an alkaline substance derived from limestone, is used to raise the pH of soil if it is below a desired range. A proper pH will help trees, shrubs and lawns to better absorb fertilizer, water and nutrients.

How do I change the color of my hydrangea?

The only type of hydrangeas that you can alter the color of are Hydrangea macrophylla. This includes, but is not limited to familiar varieties such as “Endless Summer,” Nikko Blue,” and “Twist-n-Shout” among others.

For BLUE hydrangea add aluminum sulfate.
For PINK hydrangea add lime.
WHITE hydrangea will always be white.

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