It is critical to use the best pH meter to test your soils’ status to ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need to be healthy.
One of the most critical factors that determine if your plants will thrive in the soils’ acidity or alkalinity. If the pH value of the soil is off even a little bit, it can have disastrous effects on your plants. For this reason, it is vital to use the best soil pH testers to ensure your plants grow happy and healthy. The pH determines the availability of the nutrients that the plants need. If the pH is too low the soil is acidic with nutrients like Phosphorous being less available. Other things can accumulate in acidic soil and make it toxic. Soil that is too acidic is not a good home for beneficial bacteria.
Soil with a very high pH is alkaline. It prevents the plants from having enough iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and phosphorous. Iron is vital to plants especially the evergreens.
What to Consider when Buying the Best pH Meter
A good soil pH tester will get the job done each time you want to test your soil. All the soil pH readers do not have the same build. Here are key features that you need to check as you shop for the best pH meter.
- Accuracy of the pH Meter. Always go for a pH tester that offers accurate results. Generally, there is a range that your pH must measure. It can be anything from 3.5 to 8, some ranging slightly larger or smaller. The instructions part contains details that you need to know before buying the pH tester. Pay close attention to these instructions they give you an idea of how to get the best pH meter.
- Probe the Depth Length of the Soil Tester. Soil pH testers come in singles or doubles designs. These probes are made out of silver, aluminum, copper, or an amalgamation of metals. The probe depth is critical – the longer the probe the better it is in giving you the best results. This is because it not only tests the top layer soil.
- Single or MMlti-function. Some pH tests the soil’s alkalinity or acidity only. Others can test other factors too like the moisture content and light levels. By buying 3 in 1 test kits you will be able to test your soil of all the tests that influence your plant growth.
- Portability. Go for a soil pH tester that is lightweight, compact, and durable. The probes could be gentle, but the unit must be strong enough to give you value for your money.
- The power source. Most pH testers are battery-free meaning you use them without the need to plug in the batteries. Others require batteries to work. You can opt to use either of the pH testers. There is no proof that those with batteries work better than those without.
Read more about The best Soil Moisture Meter in the Market
How to Read a Soil pH Meter Results
Before you can interpret the results of your pH tester, first understand the basics of the acidity or alkalinity. These basics run from 0-14, with 7 being the neutral number. Anything above 7 is alkaline while anything below 7 is acidic. Most testers come with a chart to help you read the results.
Most electronic pH testers have a probe that inserts directly into the soil to get the readings. In some of these cases, you might not get accurate results. The best way to ensure you get the right results is by making a mixture of distilled water and soil. Put soil in a container, add distilled water and stir so that it mixes well. With the mixture ready, you can use the pH strips or electronic tester to get accurate results. You can try it a few times to see if you get the same results especially if you are new to testing.
Be sure to use the chart that comes with the tester. This helps you get the correct decoding for the results every time you carry out the tests.
The Top Best pH Meter
Now that we have seen why it’s important to test your soil’s pH, let’s look at some of the best soil testers in the market today.
YOYOMAX pH tester has a 3 in 1 design that tests the pH, soil moisture, and sunlight. It’s an analog tool that neither uses batteries nor charger and is ready to go right out of the box! This tool is easy to use even for beginners – switch what you want to test and insert the probes into the soil about 2-4 inches deep. Give the test kit for about 10 minutes and read the results. The YOYOMAX test kit measures the pH from 3.5 to 8.
This test kit is small and portable so you can carry it with you and use it anywhere. It’s best for indoor plants.
- No batteries or chargers needed
- It’s a 3 in 1 measuring light, pH, and moisture
- It is affordable
- Takes about 10 minutes to give the results
BLUE LAB pH pen is a new technology pH testing kit that uses a lab-quality probe. It measures the pH in swimming pools, brewing industries, and hydroponic gardening.
Calibration with this test kit is easy ensuring the accuracy of the results. The backlit LCD makes it easy to read the results and reminds you when it’s time to calibrate.
It is simple to use by inserting the probe into soft soil. The pH reads from 0 – 14 and the temperatures between 32 – 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This pH meter uses 1 AAA batter
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Has the ability to calibrate
- It is waterproof
- It costs higher in price
GARDEN TUTOR offers pH test strips that are calibrated to deliver quick results. Each strip measures the pH between 3.5 – 9. These strips deliver more accurate results than the universal test strips.
The kit comes with a 16-page handbook for sulfur and lime application charts that are based on your soil’s pH. Most garden plants need a pH value of about 6.5 and this handbook included helps you to achieve that.
This kit is affordable considering the number of tests it performs. It comes with clear instructions to follow in testing your soil and getting the right results. The testing process takes about 20 -30 minutes.
- This kit has 100 test strips lasting you a long time
- Results are easy to determine using the easy to read the chart
- The strips only measure the pH and give accurate and reliable results
- The testing process is tedious and takes longer than other testing methods
LUSTER LEAF pH soil tester is easy to use and gives accurate results. It measures the pH level, soil temperature, and fertility rate.
The results are easy to read and displayed on the digital screen. The screen displays 1 result at a time but it’s easy to press up and down buttons to display the rest of the results.
LUSTER LEAF is easy to work with insert the probe into the soil and read the on-screen results. The probe is fragile and should be handled with care. Always wash it before use and never force it in dry hard soil because it could break.
- It provides accurate readings within a short time
- It was designed in the USA
- The fertility test takes into account the NPK levels in the soil and gives a reading of 1 – 10.
- It too gentle
- Cleaning and caring for the probe is tedious
BLUELABMETCOM is one of the best pH meters for hydroponic farming. It specifically tests the water used in hydroponic. This combo tests the pH, temperature, and conductivity. It is lightweight and portable with a long probe of 6.5 feet.
This makes it easy to stretch and get whatever readings I need. It is easy to read the digital display because the buttons are marked. It is powered by 2 AAA batteries and comes with an auto shut off feature that helps you save power.
- Includes a 5-year warranty
- Saves you power through its auto shut off button
- Allows pH calibration to take place by the push of a button
- Instructions might be difficult to understand
- Results can be less accurate
For your plants to grow to their full potential, the right pH is important. If you notice your plants’ leaves are turning yellow or any other color, it is best to check the pH stage of your soil.
It is critical to use the best pH meter to get the most accurate results. Especially if you are working to correct the soil pH. Always recheck your soil after treatment. This ensures you have the best results before you continue with your gardening. The pH tester should test before and after soil treatment always.
Choose the 3 in 1 tester so that you can be able to test your soils for its health. Your plants will thank you and happily thrive!