How to Test Your Soil
A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks. Perform a soil test so you know what plants will do best in your garden and what additives you may need for your soil.
A soil test has been noted by successful gardeners to be the most efficient and money-saving step toward better gardening. A soil test indicates your soil's pH level—the relative acidity or alkalinity—which affects how plants take up nutrients and thrive. Soil pH ranges from 1.0 (highly acidic) to 14.0 (highly alkaline), with 7 being neutral. In rainy regions, soil is typically more acidic; in desert areas, soil is more alkaline. Soil in these areas needs to be amended accordingly for plants to thrive.
To raise too-low pH (acidic): Add lime, dolomite limestone, or wood ashes.
To lower too-high pH (alkaline): Add horticultural sulfur, composted oak leaves, or pine needles.