Here is an easy home soil test that will give you enough information to get you started down the road in your new garden design.
There is no real need to go buy a soil test or a soil test meter to determine the important piece of information you need to plan your garden adequately. Just do this soil test and you will know whether your soil is more alkaline or acidic.
To do this test, you will need to gather two plastic or glass containers, measuring cups, baking soda, a stir stick or knife, vinegar and water.
This test may be done indoors, but has the potential of being a bit messy, so may best be done out of doors.
In the test above, my soil is more acidic.
While both of the containers of soil had some reaction, the reaction was more pronounced in the second of the two containers, which tells me that my soil is more acidic.
My soil actually is right at the top of the acid scale, measuring at 6.5 on the soil pH meter. Thus neither reaction was very strong, but what I needed to know I have found out using this home soil test. Most plants will be happy in my soil since it falls in the middle range... with neither soil sample reacting overly strongly.
If you want to save a dime or two, try this test first! Easy, and a GREAT experiment to do with your kids!