Soil tester help

Does anyone know of a good ph tester for soil? I purchased one of the standard 2 prong 3 in 1 tester and it’s a POS. I found reviews for best soil testers and when I read the amazon reviews they are horrible. It seems there is not a reliable meter that I can find. Anyone have any recommendations?

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Best suggestion is to purchase a ph meter that can be calibrated, mix a soil slurry, let settle for 10 minutes, then check.
Those prong testers things are junk, and never work.


I like the ones that you test in liquid (I take some of the soil place in a jar with distilled water and shake vigorously then test). I also test a sample with my household tap water to see the difference.

As stated above. The digital water solution testers are the most efficient.

Like Mr Vert said, get some soil, get some distilled water. Mix. Let sit. Check with digital meter. :boom:

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Any recommendations?

How accurate would that be? If you made a slurry with distilled water if the soil had a ph of 3 and the distilled water is 6.2 it would give you an average of the two I would think? How accurate is this?

Distilled water doesnt have a true pH. It normally takes the pH of whatever it is mixed or poured into.

Pretty solid point of reference all in all

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This was the first ph meter I found in the list that’s affordable, and you can calibrate it. If you want an expensive mode that will last a long time, apera, and blue lab are more expensive but you pay for what you get.
The affordable one will last a couple years at least. The one I have is still going, it’s going on 4 years. @Quarinteen

VIVOSUN PH Meter Digital PH Tester Pen for Water

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That one definitely works. I had a cheapy. It kept getting uncalibrated on me. And i only had the solution to recalibrate 2 times max.

I dropped $40 on the Apera 20 and cant kill that thing. The couple times i recalibrated (comes with a nice amount) it wasnt off much at all

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Another vote for the Apera 20. Love it :sunglasses:

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Oh I have 2 of these but they just do water. If you make a slurry of water and soil the ph result would be an average of the soil ph and water ph right? What I mean is if the soil had a ph of 1 and the water had a ph of 9 then the result would be a ph of 5 right? I would not think that would be too accurate?

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If you use distilled after, it has no ph. It takes on the ph of whatever you putting in. It has no ph because there are no dissolved solids. Reverse osmosis water is similar.

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Sorry thought i answered that above somewhere. Like Vert said. Distilled and RO water dont have a true pH. So its the best constant to use. Almost directly what ur soil is

Cool thanks everyone I will give this a shot. Just to ensure I have the process. How much dirt and how much water should I combine? How long should it set in the water?

Distilled water still has a PH. It’s neutral but it’s still has a ph usually I see it’s like 6.0 or about. That’s where my question comes in. If the distilled water has a ph of 6.0 and the soil has a ph of 1 then when you mix them right the ph should read 3.5 I would think? You’re getting the average of the 2

It would take on the ph of the soil at 1.
Distilled water had no minerals (0ppm) so yes when you check it has a PH, but because there is nothing in it, it takes on the ph it goes into.

Ah got ya