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Pests and diseases are not the only reason why your plant will not do well. The soil pH level is also an important factor in determining whether your crops will grow to maturity or die at the root stage.
This is why owning a soil pH tester cannot be underestimated. A quick understanding of what soil pH refers to will help you see reasons to own a soil pH tester, not just owning any soil pH tester, but owning one out of the eight soil pH testers that will be listed in this article.
Soil pH is the measured value of the acidity or alkalinity of a particular soil. From the definition, it is clear that soil can either have an acidic pH level or an alkaline pH level.
In the use of a soil pH tester, it is necessary to note that results ranging from number one to number seven, connote that the soil is acidic. Likewise, results ranging from number seven to number ten, connotes that the soil is alkaline.
The pH level of a soil is an important determinant of almost every chemical and microbe activity in the soil. The soil pH level determines which microorganisms will survive or die on the soil. It also determines what nutrients can get into the plant roots.
An acidic soil usually has the characteristic of aluminum toxicity and it can affect the growth of plants.
Regardless of the factors that cause acidity or alkalinity in the soil, the soil pH tester is effective enough to clearly determine the pH level, which in turn, helps the gardener make appropriate decisions.
Decisions center around the kind of plants to be grown in that environment as well as the amount of fertilizer and compost application.
A soil pH tester can be set up using three techniques. Each of these techniques can accurately tell what the soil pH level is at any given season of the year.
These techniques often called the soil pH tester types, include the electronic soil pH tester, the paper strips soil pH tester, and the chemical dye soil pH tester.
The electronic soil pH tester has a meter that accurately gives the pH value of the soil.
This is recommended as the best technique or type of soil pH tester given that it is easy to use and does not require much stress.
The paper strips soil pH tester is a bit tricky to use and cannot provide an exact result except it is done in comparison with a different technique. Using the paper strip soil pH tester often requires double checking for accuracy.
The chemical dye soil pH tester is more accurate than the paper strip, but cannot be compared to the efficiency of the electronic tester.
Using the chemical dye pH tester often requires comparing the results gotten from testing the two dyes.
This article discusses the best soil pH tester, laying emphasis on the top eight digital meters as well as strips and dyes. It is expected that at the end of this article, you can confidently pick out the best Digital meter for testing soil pH level.
The Best Soil pH Tester [ 8 best digital meters]
Here is a list of the eight best soil pH testers you could consider to use in testing your soil pH level.
- Sonkir soil pH tester and meter
- Atree 3-in-1 soil pH tester and meter
- Rapitest digital soil pH tester
- Kelway reliable soil pH tester
- Yoyomax pH moisture meter soil pH tester
- Environmental concepts 1662 professional soil pH tester
- Ikkegol 3-in-1 water moisture soil pH tester
- Garden tutor soil pH tester strip kits
The last soil pH tester listed above, is a strip technology that uses the strip technique to determine soil pH level.
- Sonkir Soil pH Tester and Meter
This sonkir soil pH tester and meter comes with a three in one tester that is able to not only test soil pH but can test the moisture content in the soil as well as the light dispersion in the soil.
This soil pH tester kit is able to penetrate deep enough into the soil to test for deep soil ranges. It can accurately tell the soil pH level of soils with pH ranging from 3.5 to 8.
That is, acidic to alkaline. It is small in size and really easy to use. The double needle technology embedded in this soil pH tester makes it an accurate kit for measuring soil pH levels.
It is usually advised to wet the soil before insertion of the sonkir soil pH tester, to get better usage results. Even though this device tests for soil moisture, it does not work in water.
It also does not require batteries to work and goes for a standard cheap price compared to its function to the farmer.
- Atree 3-in-1 Soil pH Tester and Meter
This kit gives data that is scientifically approved, that is constant when tested on other kits and types of soil pH testers. It also comes with an automated reminder to farmers on when to water plants.
Like the sonkir soil pH tester, the tree 3-in-1 soil pH tester does not use batteries and can perform three rests on the soil namely, the pH test, moisture test, and light test.
This kit is able to accurately read soil pH that falls between acidic to neutral and alkaline. Reviews of this soil pH tester show that it is a great tool for gardeners who do not have much experience in testing soil pH levels.
It is also great to be used by professionals as it is an accurate soil pH level tester. The kind of tests it does to check light intensity on the soil is usually misleading if the plant is not getting sunlight.
This is because artificial light-like bulbs do not emit the same light intensity and sunlight, so the atree 3-in-1 soil pH tester is bound to make some misreadings while testing the light dispersion from bulbs.
- Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester
This device is not as effective for testing pH levels as the others. This is due to the fact that its calibrations are made to read soil pH levels that vary between 4.5 and 7.5.
What this means is that soils that are not within the minimum or maximum range, cannot be accurately tested by the rapitest soil pH tester.
This is partly caused by its multiple functionalities. One kit can perform up to twenty different tests other than the soil pH test.
It is, however, a good bargain for your money, given its size and multiple uses.
It helps a gardener for fertilizer application as it can tell accurately the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that the soil needs at the moment.
It is strictly digital, uses batteries, and is way more expensive than the other meters.
- Kelway Reliable Soil pH Tester
This soil pH tester is proudly Manufactured by kelway manufacturing company. This kit is great for its accuracy and reliability. It is such that the results from this device remain the same even after a series of tests on the device and other devices.
It is best used on soft soil to prevent damage. A safety measure in the use of the kelway reliable soil pH tester is to remove it from the soil after testing. This sustains the usage life and ensures that the probe remains intact.
It does not use electricity and is easy to use indoors as a result of its weightlessness.
The kelway reliable soil pH tester is a good device for beginners and professionals. It comes with an instruction manual on how to set up and use it correctly.
- Yoyomax pH Moisture Meter Soil pH Tester
This device is embedded with a three in one tester and uses a pH range of 3.5 to 8.
This soil pH tester is similar to the sonkir soil pH tester and the tree 3-in-1 soil pH tester. It is almost the same size and performs the exact same kind of functions performed by the other two.
The extra advantage of buying this device is the thirty days money back guarantee if you do not like the product.
- Environmental Concepts 1662 Professional Soil pH Tester
This device can perform tests on ten different soil types and still determine nitrogen phosphorus, and potassium amount in the various soils.
It is a complex device that uses the chemical dye technique and is not recommended for beginners or indoor newbie gardeners.
The settings and usage specifications come off as too complex for normal users.
Its results are accurate and tally with that of other devices as well as techniques.
- Ikkegol 3-in-1 water moisture soil pH tester
This soil pH tester is cheap yet reliably accurate. It is a three-in-one kit that performs the moisture, pH, and light tests on the soil.
Because of its small size, its display screen is small and requires good eyesight to see. This device is small and has fragile equipment that could get broken if inserted in rocky soil.
- Garden Tutor Soil pH Tester Strip Kits
As the name suggests, a soil pH tester makes use of the strip technique. The strip is calibrated with specificity to test soil pH levels.
It is a one way testing kit in the sense that it can only be used to test for soil pH level, unlike the others that can test for soil moisture and light.
What is the Most Accurate Soil pH Tester
The most accurate soil pH tester is the pH meters. This is the best in terms of ease of usage, the accuracy of results, and reliability of readings.
The digital meters are not just built for testing soil pH. They can also carry out other tests on the soil like the moisture test and light test.
How Do I Choose a Soil pH Tester?
To choose a pH tester, the following factors should be considered:
- Functionality (ies)
- pH range (es)
How these factors should affect your decision of choice of pH tester include:
- Accuracy: the soil pH tester that you would be choosing should be able to produce results that are specific and accurate.
The results should remain the same when tested on other devices.
- Functionality: I recommend the usage of a pH tester with multiple functions. One that can perform more than one test.
- pH Range: your choice of soil pH tester should be able to test for a varied number of ranges. It should be able to test both alkaline and acidic soils.
- Price: I recommend a soil pH tester that is cheap, especially if you are a beginner who needs capital for other aspects of the garden
- Probe: a good soil pH tester should have a long enough probe that can test the depths of soil to accurately tell what plants can actually survive in the soil.
Why is the pH Meter Most Accurate
The pH meter is most accurate for pH tests because it is automated and has a very little margin of error, compared to manual test techniques.
The pH meter is usually a way of checking the accuracy of other pH soil testers.
Does a pH Tester need Battery?
This depends on the kind of pH tester.
A majority of the ones we have discussed above don’t need batteries but that does not mean that pH testers do not need batteries.
If they are electronically powered like the Kelway reliable soil pH tester, they make use of batteries that need to be charged and have currents to function.
A soil pH tester should be a gardener’s most prized possession. This is because the right pH determines if plants will live or die. It also determines if soil microorganisms will live or die.
The tester kits are the best ways to test soil pH because in terms of accuracy and reliability, they are the best ranking.
Acquiring one of the eight best digital meters does not cost a fortune and can be purchased from any agricultural equipment shop.