Dare You Taste Your Soil?


If you don’t happen to have an electronic soil tester or even a chemical test kit on hand to test your soil’s pH, you can always do it the old fashioned way if you dare. In the old days, some European immigrant farmers would actually taste the soil of their new American holdings to determine the pH, though it’s not likely they realized what they were testing for. Acidic soils (that is, those with a pH of less than 7) tend to be tart, while alkaline soils are somewhat sweet. While we wouldn’t recommend putting dirt in your mouth (who knows where it’s been!), the flavor apparently really can indicate which crops will grow best in your soil. In some cases, a good whiff might be sufficient to tell you if the soil is sour or sweet.