I had time to try the purple cabbage Ph indicatortest. A new Food 4 Less opened in the neighborhood and they have a real nice vegetable selection. I was talking to my Master Gardener friend, Greogry, about spaghetti squash a little while ago. Coincidentally, the store had the spaghetti squash and the purple cabbage.
So, the directions said to chop the cabbage leaves and mix it with distilled water and let it sit. I used the food processor to chop it up and used boiled and cooled water. The water was lukewarm when I added it to the food processed cabbage leaves and the water turned purple immediately.
And mix the two together…
You do this to test the solution. Mine turned red. So far, so good.
Next you take your soil sample and add some of the solution, mix and let settle…
The color of the solution gives you an indication of your soil ph.
- Pink or red = Indicates acidic soil
Purple (no change) = neutral ph
Blue = indicates alkaline soil
Green = Indicates highly alkaline soil
The soil on the left came from the raised bed that had the leaves sitting in it over the winter. The soil samples had little worms in it and had a plastic cover over it for the past month. (I ended up doing the test twice.) The middle sample came from the middle bed which was lightly mulched over the the winter with leaves. The third sample came from the area where I grow a large leafed hosta. The soil is not raised and is much more compact than that in the raised beds.
I don’t know how well it shows on the picture, but it looks to me like my vegetable beds are alkaline/blue and that the area where no vegetables were grown is very alkaline/green.
I’ll take a little time to see which vegetables grow best in alkaline soil, but at the end of the day (especially since I have so few square feet to work with) my planting decsions, unless I decide to get a real soil test, will be based on things that we like to consume and how they physically look in the garden.
So, there you go. Another low cost way to get something done in the yard.