If the soil is acidic, neutral, or alkaline, one of the most important factors for whether a plant will thrive or not is.
Even the Soil pH Testers may have disastrous effects on your plants being a little off in either direction.
That’s why using the right soil pH tests is so crucial to ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need to be happy and safe.
What is Soil pH and Why is It Important?
The main reason soil pH is so important is that it determines the availability of all the plants needing the nutrients.
A pH of 6.5 is usually optimal but this number varies depending on the species of the plant because they all have different needs.
If the pH is too low, the soil is acidic and there are fewer nutrients, such as phosphorus, available while other things can accumulate and become toxic. Soil that is too acidic for beneficial bacteria is not a good house, either.
On the other side, high pH soil is alkaline, which removes access to iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus, which zinc from the plant. Iron is of great importance to all plants, but especially important for evergreens.
Best Soil pH Tester for Plants
1. Sonkir Soil pH Meter
One of the great things about this meter is that it not only checks the pH but also tests the levels of moisture and sunlight. You should make all the necessary changes to ensure your plant gets exactly what it wants.
It is also very easy to use, just insert the double probe about 2 to 4 inches into the soil and toggle the switch to what parameter you want to calculate. We require about 10 minutes to get.
Another great thing about this meter is that it’s battery-free so you don’t have to worry about losing power with any result that’s inaccurate.
2. Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter for pH
If you’re looking for a hydroponic farming pH meter, check out this Bluelab Combo product. It measures pH, temperature, and conductivity so that you can make the necessary adjustments to keep your plants on track.
This is a lightweight, extremely portable meter with a very long 6.5-foot probe cable which makes it really easy to stretch to get any readings you need.
It has a simple digital display, which is easy to read and the buttons are clearly marked and easy to use.
Keep in mind that this meter is specifically designed to test water for hydroponic agriculture and should not be used with soil.
3. Luster Leaf 1606 Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester
This Luster Leaf digital soil pH tester facilitates the determination of soil pH. It uses a special optical calibration system and advanced LED technology to read soil pH and gives you results in minutes.
Although the instructions are detailed, they are simple to follow so you can be sure you will get accurate results. It includes a test tube, 10 test capsules, and a liquid dropper so you have 10 tests right out of the box that you need to do.
One of the great things about this tester is that, for over 450 plants, it comes with pH references. This way, you know how to apply the results to your plants and what you need to do to get the right pH.
4. Bluelab PENSOILPH pH Pen for Soil
This Bluelab pH test pen uses a lab-quality glass probe, which can be used in a number of locations to calculate pH. It’s great for soil testing but so precise it’s also used to test swimming pools, water, brewing, and hydroponic gardening.
Calibration is simple and ensures results are accurate, and the temperature is automatically compensated by the probe. The backlit LCD display is easy to read and reminds you when calibration time is right.
All you need to do is insert the probe to test the soil. Just make sure it’s soft, and no rocks in the way. It reads pH in temperatures between 32 and 122F, from zero to 14.
5. yoyomax Soil Test Kit pH Moisture Meter Plant Water Light Tester
This probe pH tester from yoyomax features a three-in-one design that tells you not only the pH but also the soil moisture and whether or not your plants are getting enough sunlight. Plus, you don’t need to think about batteries or something like that. They ‘re ready to go out of the box right.
All you need to do is set the switch to what you want to measure – pH, light, or moisture – and then insert the probes into the soil for about two to four inches. Wait 10 minutes or so, and read the verdict. It measures pH 3.5 through 8.
This probe is tiny and portable so you can use it anywhere. It is great for plants in containers, especially for houseplants. Not only can you determine if the pH of the soil is accurate, but you can also ensure that the right amount of light is obtained.
What is the Best Soil pH Tester?
The Sonkir Soil pH Meter is our pick for the best soil pH tester. This not only gives correct pH readings but also tests for the level of moisture and sunlight.
It uses double-needle detection technology to improve readings speed and accuracy and is easy and simple to use.
That’s not everything, it’s backed by a 12-month warranty and provides after-sale service, one of the best things about this portable soil pH tester. This is the best coverage we have found on the warranty.
How to Test Soil pH with pH Meter?
Every tester functions a little differently, but they do have a lot in common. Since most of these meters are using probes, a general process for how to use them is here.
1. Clean and Calibrate
Turn on your meter, and let it get a little warm. This usually takes approximately 30 minutes but to be sure, you should test the specific instructions for your meter.
First, clean the electrode by removing it if possible from the storage solution, and rinse it with distilled water.
Once the electrode has been rinsed, blot dry. Don’t rub it because you might damage some delicate membranes or scratch the surface of the metal. If it’s not enough to clean the distilled water, check your tester’s manual and use the cleaning solution they recommend.
2. Using Your pH Meter
It’s not always as easy to use your tester as just to push the probe into the soil. While the instructions that come with your meter should always be followed, here’s one way to get good results.
Begin by digging out the top two inches of soil from different locations around the planting area. That includes different parts of the bed and different depths of soil. The pH in any garden will vary widely from place to place and from one layer to another.
Place all the samples you collect in the same bowl, thoroughly mix, and be careful to avoid any rocks as they may harm the sample. Measure around two tassels of mixed soil in a clean tub.
Fill the soil with distilled water and seal it into the tub. Turn on the meter, and insert it into the soil using a clean probe. Twist it to ensure you have good touch all the way around and keep the probe away from the container’s rim.
Next, you need to let the probe settle down. How long depends on the manufacturer but can range from 60 seconds to 10 minutes or more anywhere. Note the read after the allotted amount of time has passed.
If you are using a test kit with test strips or capsules encoded in color, be sure to obey the instructions with care. For some of these sets, various color control media are applied to the soil and triggered with a couple of drops of water. You’ll be given the pH amount by comparing the final color to the included chart.
3. Clean up
Proper cleanup is important because next time, it makes everything easier. In distilled water, rinse the electrode and blot dry. Then, keep it away till next time. Consult your manual for best practices on storage.
How to Raise and Lower Soil pH?
Before making adjustments one important thing to keep in mind is that not all plants prefer neutral pH.
Plants such as blueberries and azaleas, for example, thrive in acidic soil while some plants, such as lilies and hyacinths, prefer alkaline. Make sure that the soil is adapted to what your plants prefer.
The pH-scale ranges from 0 to 14 with a neutral pH of 7. About 7 is considered acidic; above 7 is considered alkaline. Most plants prefer a slightly alkaline pH between 6 which is slightly acidic, and 7.5.
You can either choose plants that prefer the soil you have or change the pH of the soil to suit your plants if your pH is off.
How Accurate are Soil pH Testers?
Although they may not be as accurate as having the soil sent to a laboratory, soil pH testers can provide you with reliable and consistent results. There are a variety of things you can do if you want to get the best results possible.
First, make sure you make accurate use of the tester. Carefully read the directions, and follow them exactly. Place the probe deep enough, and wait long enough to get an accurate result.
Next, make sure you have your tester cleaned and stored properly. Samples should be washed both before and after use, using distilled water. When washing, always be careful and be sure not to rub the probe too hard because it could cause damage.
Finally, if recommended by the manufacturer, calibrate your tester and make sure you are using the buffers that they suggest. This usually involves calibrating the probe to a liquid that is neutral, acidic, and alkaline.
Proper pH is important to ensure your plants grow to their full potential. If you find the leaves turn yellow or any other irregularities, a good place to start troubleshooting is to test the pH of the soil.
It’s important to use the best available soil pH meter to get the most accurate results, particularly if the soil is being treated to correct the pH.
If you’ve done treatments to raise or lower pH, make sure you start with an accurate reading of the foundation. Then, after diagnosis, test regularly to make sure you are having the right results. This can prevent any over-corrections that may lead to other problems.
Bear in mind, too, that several of the items we chose the test for several factors so you can really check your soil’s overall health and make sure your plants get what they need.
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