The pH level of your soil fluctuates greatly even on a day-to-day scale. Mother Nature is always affecting your soil’s pH level through rainfall or a lack thereof. As a result of this, it is important to test your soil regularly to be sure that its pH level is compatible with your crop growing objectives.

When measuring a soil’s pH level, it is important to take samples from various points in your garden or farm. The pH level of one particular small plot of soil can vary depending on the presence of rocks or other elements. Measure the pH level at various points on your land and take the average of all of them to have a better idea of your soil’s overall pH level.

There are a few different ways to test pH levels in soil. The most accurate but also most expensive route is to use an electronic pH meter. This is a device that is inserted into the soil and gives an accurate digital reading. If you want to do things a little more old school, you can use litmus paper. The downside of this method is that it doesn’t give you an exact pH reading, it merely tells you whether your soil is acidic or alkaline. Another method that produces the same two-toned result is the use of a barium sulphate testing kit. With this method, you mix a sample of soil with the barium sulphate and add water which changes color based on the soil’s acidity or alkalinity.

Advanced organic gardeners are able to make a strong educated guess regarding the pH level of their soil by making observations. The presence of yellowing leaves on plants is common of soil with too high of a pH level. The presence of the types of plants themselves is also indicative of your soil’s pH level; most plants can only grow when the soil is within a particular range on the pH scale. For example, the presence of a heather plant indicates a pH level of around 4.5 to 5.0 since this plant cannot thrive outside of these acidic conditions.

Organic gardening soil needs compost to survive. Compost is the soil’s food. Many people have the elements they need to make organic compost ready to go out in their trash. Don’t throw it away! You can save money by making your own compost from organic garden waste.

The decomposition of organic compost creates humus which acts as glue for your soil. The sticky residue of decomposed organic material helps soil hold more moisture and stay together. You can use compost as a fertilizer for your garden or lawn.

Just about any organic scraps can be used as compost. Chances are you’ve thrown something in the trash just today that would be perfectly suitable for organic compost. Coffee grounds, egg shells and fruit and vegetable scraps as common items used in organic compost. You can also use leaves from trees, weeds, and wood scraps.

The main things to avoid using in an organic gardening compost are ash, pet or human waste, and leftover cooked food. It is important to use a good combination of ingredients with nitrogen and carbon in your compost. Some ingredients high in nitrogen include plant residue like grass clippings and skins or waste byproducts of fruit and vegetables. Typical compost ingredients high in carbon are fall leaves, straw, or cardboard.

Your compost pile should contain far more carbon than nitrogen. It is recommended to maintain a 25:1 or 30:1 ratio of carbon items relative to the amount of nitrogen items. Keep holes in the your compost pile container to allow for air flow. Soon, bacteria will take over and begin decomposing the ingredients in your organic compost. A staple for making your own compost is grass clippings (which have a 20:1 carbon:nitrogen ratio) mixed in with some dry fall leaves (which have a 55:1 ratio).