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soil ph testing using litmus paper

15 years ago

i bought some blue litmus paper to test the acidity of my soil:

basically i just got 100 strips in a small tube for 4 bucks, good deal, only problem is, i don' know how to use em:

I know that i probably won't be able to get the actual pH number that to gauge my soil acidity, i DO understand that the pinker the strip turns the more acidic the soil is....

i've read to gather several pulverized soil samples, mix them w/ rain water(*) and put three strips in the 'mud'. check one after 5 min. then one in 10 mins, and the third at 30 minutes.

what i'm wondering is if the water i'm using to mix it with is setting i'm a tin pail type of container (like those old fashioned bathtubs) will this affect the outcome of the test (i know that rainwater is kinda acidic anyway so i was wondering if this would also affect the test)

should i just use distilled water???

would other 'bottled' water like say, walmart bottled water work??

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