I've used soil pH test kits in the past where you mix the soil with a solution and look for a color change. This works OK for dirt, but sometimes I'd like to know what the final pH of my planting mix is (a combination of mulch, compost, sand, clay). Since my planting mix is high in organic matter (wood, etc.) it doesn't really stir into a solution very well.

Is there another type of pH test that would work well for soil with high organic matter?

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    @pnuts There you go again. This is a perfectly great answer! Perhaps a bit more explanation from you with this article to support your written answer as I have found, answers should be able to stand on their own. These answers will be looked at years and years from now and that site may not be available anymore. Why do you think my answers are so verbose? Condensing is not my forte, grins. You are so bad!
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 17:06
  • Gees, maybe I ought to learn how to do a 'proper' answer! Grins. I always learn by trial and error. You need to make an answer, you can always edit it to make it perfect.
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 18:01
  • @stormy, you're right about the importance of putting some supporting information from the links. Since I do a lot of editing, I come across a lot of dead links, especially in the older questions. If there isn't any written text to support it, the community misses out. It can depend on the type of question, but it's definitely something to keep in mind. Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


Take a handful and mix it in a cup of distilled water or some other low mineral water. Stir and let it settle, then check pH of the water. Quantities are not critical. I use bromthymol blue—it is a liquid used for aquarium water. The range is 7.4 to 6.0, as I remember. I have never been a fan of the paper test strips, although I had unlimited access to all ranges through my employer.

  • Mease the pH with a test strip? Universal indicator?
    – watkipet
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 16:50

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