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How to Test Soil Acidity/Alkalinity for Moss Control

Post Date: May 30th, 2012


soil and grass


If you see moss in your lawn, this means that there are conditions that are inhibiting proper growth of your turf. In our previous post, we discussed how to get rid of moss by investigating and determining possible causes of moss invasion. We mentioned that moss growth is commonly associated with heavy shade, shallow soils, poor soil fertility, excessive moisture and acidic soils.


Soil acidity is measured by Ph level (acidity or alkalinity). Ph level is determined on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being very acidic and 14 being very alkaline. Generally, plants grow best in soil with fairly neutral Ph of between 6 and 7. When the Ph level of your lawn soil is lower than 5 (acidic), you are essentially welcoming moss to grow in your lawn. Therefore, it’s important to know the Ph level of your soil before you can go about improving the growing conditions for your grass.


To test the Ph level of your lawn soil, you can either buy Ph test kits from a neighboring garden center, or conduct a do-it-yourself soil test using the following household items:


- soil sample

- 2 sample containers

- vinegar

- baking soda

- water


Follow these steps to determine the Ph level of your soil:


1. Put your soil samples into the 2 containers.

2. In the first container, add one-half cup of vinegar. The soil is alkaline if the soil bubbles or fizzes.

alkalinity soil test

3. If there is no reaction, add one-half cup of water in the second soil sample then mix it. Then, add one-half cup of baking soda. The soil is acidic if it bubbles or fizzes.acidity soil test

Once you’ve determined if your soil is acidic or alkaline, you can make the necessary actions to adjust the soil Ph level. Wood ash or lime can cure acidity while sulfur or pine needles can remedy alkalinity. Remember that soil takes time to change so be patient and gradual when you make your adjustments.


We specialize in landscape maintenance and things like moss removal. If you’re in the Vancouver area and the moss in your lawn has gotten a bit out of control, we can help! Contact Deerwood Landscaping and we’ll send a lawn doctor over to your property ASAP!


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