The pH value of your soil is quite critical to the growth success of your plant. What is this you might be asking, well it simple is the level of acid or alkaline in your soil. This will determine the fertility of your soil and therefore is important to know before you go planting too many expensive plants and end up losing them.
When the soil is too acidic there are some nutrients plants are unable to absorb. Calcium, is almost totally blocked and Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are reduced considerably.
Alkaline soils will also block and reduce absorption, nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.So the best pH value you can have for your soil is Neutral which is somewhere in the pH value of 6.5 and 7
It is fairly easy to make adjustments to your soil if you find that you are outside this range but this will of course depend on the type of plants you may want to grow. If you find your soil is acidic then you can just add slaked Lime or spent mushroom compost which usually contains Lime. These will bring the pH down to neutral and for an Alkaline soil you can add well rotted cow manure or garden compost, both are acidic and you’ll find that will balance the pH level.
To test the pH level in your garden there are gadgets available if you are confident in using them, the only advice I would give is to do several tests in many different areas of your garden, soil can vary so much so to get a good idea do several tests. Another way is to note what plants are already doing well in your garden and simply check on the soil preference these plants like.