Soil PH Testing
Testing, Testing 1,2,3…
Before planting trees, shrubs and grass, it’s best to first identify the pH of your soil. pH is a measure of your soil acidity or alkalinity. A proper pH helps plants to absorb, food, water and other trace elements more easily. Your plants will also grow healthier and resist diseases and insects better with the correct soil pH.
Free pH Soil Testing
Hicks Nurseries will test your soil pH level for free. Bring a ½ cup of completely dry soil to our Lawn & Garden Information Desk any time for a free pH soil test while you wait. pH meters and kits are also available for sale for at-home, on-the-spot soil testing.
Once you know your pH level our sales associates can help you identify if any further action is required.
What is pH?
pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity of soil on a scale ranging from 0 to 14; neutral soil has a pH of 7.0.
- Acidic soils have a pH reading below 7.0;
- Most plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
- Most lawns prefer a pH of 6.2 to 6.8 (6.5 is optimum).
- Alkaline soils have a pH reading which measures above 7.0.
- Vines such as honeysuckle, clematis and morning glory prefer alkaline soils.
What is Lime?
Lime, an alkaline substance derived from limestone, is used to raise the pH of soil if it is below a desired range. A proper pH will help trees, shrubs and lawns to better absorb fertilizer, water and nutrients.
How do I change the color of my hydrangea?
The only type of hydrangeas that you can alter the color of are Hydrangea macrophylla. This includes, but is not limited to familiar varieties such as “Endless Summer,” Nikko Blue,” and “Twist-n-Shout” among others.
For BLUE hydrangea add aluminum sulfate.
For PINK hydrangea add lime.
WHITE hydrangea will always be white.
See What's Coming Up at HIcksThroughout the year Hicks Nurseries offers gardening seminars, workshops and events for children and families. Check back soon for additional upcoming events. Calendar
Timely advice from our plant experts, plant care tips, "how to" videos and more!
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“Best selection on LI. Helpful staff. Great displays for inspiration.” – C. Mazza.
“Beautiful flowers, beautiful shrubs, beautiful everything!” –Kevin M.
“I wish my backyard was bigger so I can keep buying awesome stuff from Hicks!” –Jeanne S.
“I was there at Christmastime with a few friends – just loved it – was so beautiful – they even had Santa Claus.” –Gloria L.
“I luv that you guys not only share this knowledge, but promote and support growing food by offering fall veggie starts. I will be visiting….. home grown food and urban farming is a growing (no pun) movement and by offering seasonal starts you are helping folks who might feel too challenged starting from seeds (especially newbies) and would have otherwise not been introduced to the delicious, healthy, and empowering experience of growing your own food. I have planted a lot of my fall veggies but I will still come and get my Hicks fix.” –Alphie C.
“Hicks Nursery has the best Santa! He is so good with the kids and always brings out their smile, even if they seem a little scared. We have been going to the same Santa @ Hicks for 3 years now and our son loves him. They also have a great little walk through, with mechanical x-mas scenes. Don’t forget to stop & look at the reindeer! Great place!” –Jen C.
“Great nursery and the best Santa every year!” –Mark C.
“I love taking my granddaughter to see hicks beautiful christmas, Halloween, and Easter displays! Thanks for a job well done!” –Mary Ellen S.
“The seasonal displays and activities for kids are a tradition for families in the area. The extent of varieties of beautiful plants and flowers, shrubs, trees, and outdoor decor is amazing. If you can’t find it here, it must be very hard to find anywhere. Love this store. Always friendly and knowledgeable staff here who advise on any plant or product you need.” –Geraldine S.
“My parents brought me to Hicks when I was a kid, and I always loved it. As an adult, and now as a home owner, I’ve recently come back after a long period of absence. What a wonderful place, filled with really good products and some of the most knowledgeable people I’ve seen in any retail establishment. It’s nice to go here, get the organic lawn products I need, and also have my questions answered. Sure, you might pay a few dollars more than “Lowes Depot”, but it’s well worth it. Nothing like rediscovering a great place. Can’t wait to bring my son here for the holidays later this year. I can’t thank you enough as I work to get my lawn the best on the block.” –Jeff K.
“I would like to commend you on the wonderful staff you have. A garden center should be a happy place. Everyone at Hicks had a smile and a pleasant word and I will continue to come back year after year.” Joan H.
“I just got home from a trip to Hicks Nursery. I was in awe of how many varieties of tomatoes are there! Actually, there is a huge selection of everything!! One stop shopping at its best!” -Cathy A.
“Thank you for carrying such a large selection of organic herbs. I got behind in some of my seeds and really focus on an all organic garden. I was pleasantly surprised today by how big the selection was in all herbs. Got all the herbs I wanted.” –Sophie L
“I love Hick’s for all the beautiful flower’s I plant in our yard every Spring. They have great quality and friendly service.” – Erika M.
“I won’t shop anywhere else. Best plants in Nassau County. Great selection and the staff is both knowledgeable & helpful.” – Patricia M.
“You get everything right, knowledgeable & friendly staff, great quality plants, the gorgeous flower show, Otto and Santa.” –Pat B.
“You have such a beautiful display of everything ALL YEAR ROUND!!! Hats off to the “big boss” and outstanding staff as well – see you this weekend!” – Angie A.
“I shop at Hicks and bring the flats back to our home in CT. I will always be a Long Island Girl.” –Lisa D.
“Hicks has always been a leader in the Green Industry; even during trying times. I hope the people appreciate just how wonderful Hicks Nursery truly is!” Erik F.
“Beautiful! We’ve been twice and will visit again. The show is always a LI spring highlight – great work! BTW, love the new landscape design center more visible and accessible – had a great consultation!” – Jacqueline S.
“I so enjoy going to Hicks. It is a beautiful place and I feel refreshed when I leave there. Hicks offers so much more besides flowers. I usually meet old friends there every time I go.” –Anne D.
“You have a great selection of plants, some of which I have never seen!! The blue orchids are out of this world!!” – Rae K.