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Share information about the soil in your area with other users and help us to improve our soil map of the UK.

Let's put citizen science into action and build up a community soils dataset produced by you - the users.

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Testing the pH of your soil is fairly easy to do. It does require a simple kit that you can buy from hardware stores or garden centres. Each kit will come with its own instructions that will guide you through the process of sampling and testing.

Your testing kit will tell you a pH on a scale from 1 (very strongly acidic) to 14 (very strongly alkaline). Most soils fall in the pH range 3 to 9. Choose the closest value from our pH ranges that matches the value shown by your kit.

Don't worry if the wording doesn't match exactly, use the pH value to find the closest match, i.e. if your kit identifies your soil as pH 7, then choose the Neutral (6.5 – 7.2) category.

Soil Texture

Traditionally, soil scientists use several field and laboratory-based techniques to identify soil texture including sieving, sedimentation and laser granulometry. There are international standards for describing soil textures in terms of their clay, silt and sand content. However, for mySoil, we have some simple tips to help you identify your soil from the six classes we use in the app.

  • Chalky soil can be clayey or sandy, but is notable for the many fragments chalk or limestone that it contains. If testing for pH, chalky soils tend to be alkaline with moderately high pH (8+).
  • Sandy soil feels gritty to touch, It will not hold its shape when squeezed into a ball because it crumbles easily, so it is easy to dig and work. It drains very well and can dry out quickly.
  • Loamy soil is often the preferred soil type. It is made up of a roughly equally mixture of clay, silt and sand. Loamy soils hold together when squeezed into a ball. they do not feel sticky or gritty. They are easily dug, retain moisture and are nutrient rich.
  • Silty soil feels smooth to the touch, but not sticky and can be rolled or molded into a thin sausage-shape easily.
  • Clay soil feels smooth AND sticky to the touch. It can be molded into any shape and leaves smears of clay when rubbed between your fingers. Very heavy to dig and work, clayey soils can dry out in hot weather and form deep cracks.
  • Peaty soil contains a lot of organic matter and is very dark in colour. It feels spongy when squeezed but crunbles apart. It can absorb a lot of water but dry out quite quickly. If you have a pH testing kit it will have a low pH (i.e. Acidic).

The following chart describes how you can estimate your soil-type by trying to mold a small sample of it into different shapes.

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