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May 29, 2018 | Power Equipment & Tools Reviews

Choosing the Best Garden Soil Test Kits in 2018

Choosing the Best Garden Soil Test Kits in 2018

Many gardeners derive information about growing plants and grass from various sources – magazines, newspapers, the internet, etc. Each article necessarily points to the soil composition and its acidity but gardeners often miss this parameter, ignoring it. A device for measuring the acidity of the soil is needed. Its testimony will help change the composition of the soil, if necessary. Otherwise, you can be without harvest. Finding the top-rated rapid soil tester will help you better care for garden plants.

How to measure the acidity of the soil

The quality of life of plants, and the microorganisms necessary for their livelihoods, largely depends on the pH level of the soil. Trees, bushes, fruit, and berry crops receive nutrients from water dissolved in the soil, which is characterized by pH acidity.

In the production of hay for livestock, the acidity of pH (of the soil) largely determines the total harvest of forage grasses (alfalfa, clover, timothy) from a hectare and their saturation with vitamins and valuable proteins.

Microelements are assimilated differently by plants depending on the acidity of the soil. If the pH soil measurement is not performed and the soil is acidified, the delivery of nutrients is difficult.

If you know how to measure the pH level of the soil, acidity will be under constant control and in some areas, pH soils can be regulated by applying mineral and organic additives and agronomic measures.

Also you check out a video on measuring soil pH:

What should be the acidity of the soil?

The acidity of the soil is determined by its composition – the amount of organic matter, minerals, and trace elements. Depending on this, an acid medium is formed, which either corresponds to the norms for growing crops or not.

Black soil is an optimal variant for growing plants due to neutral pH of the soil.

Wet, wetlands in the forest, peatlands or podzolic soils have an acidic environment unsuitable for growing crops. The soil with a large amount of clay is alkaline, it is not suitable for the plant growth. Knowing the acidity of the soil is necessary in order to grow a good harvest, and not to guess afterward why it failed without looking at all efforts and care.

The indicators of the acidity meter are divided into levels. Proceeding from them, the gardener determines the suitability of the soil composition and plans planting. The following acidity indices are distinguished:

  • Less than 4, 4 or 5 – strong acid, acid
  • 5–6 – slightly acid
  • 6–7 – neutral (chernozem)
  • 8 – alkaline

Soil's PH Level guide

Such readings are given out by a soil tester, which each gardener who wants to grow a rich harvest should have. Orienting in the indicators, you can easily calculate the approximate level of acidity of the soil in your lawn.

It is important to choose the best soil pH tester for your garden to make sure you are going to have a beautiful lawn in your yard.

Selecting a digital pH meter for lawn

To measure acidity, pH testers and electrical meters are used. These are professional tools sold in garden stores. They are easy to use and show accurate data. The device includes a dipstick that is lowered into the ground and the indicator itself is a display panel for data output. The process of measurement usually takes from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the model of the device.

In order to properly conduct the procedure for measuring acidity, it is necessary to follow the general rules:

  • The stylus should be clean, free from oil stains and other contaminants. It completely immerses in the soil.
  • The soil is selected from several sites. If it is dry, it must be diluted with rainwater to a homogeneous gruel. There should not be a lot of water. Let it stand and then make measurements.
  • For reliability, the figures are taken several times. From the total, the arithmetic mean is displayed.

Note: We also recommended to read our helpful article on useful tips to winterize your lawn. Check it out now!

Electrical devices along with the pH level show the degree of humidity and temperature of the soil, which is very convenient for planting in spring. In addition to modern devices, there are other ways to determine the acidity of the soil.

3 Best Portable Soil Testers for Your Garden

Here is the soil pH meter review of three devices that are considered the best for measuring the acidity level in the soil. The comparison of these tools will help you choose the one you need.

#1 KKmall 3-in-1 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter

KKMall Soil Tester

  • This 3-in-1 soil moisture test kit measures the moisture and acidity of the soil at the root level, as well as illumination
  • It’s non-volatile, does not require batteries
  • It can be used indoors and outdoors

#2 Jellas Moisture Sensor Meter

Jellas Soil Ph tester

  • It measures humidity at the root level
  • It is non-volatile, does not require batteries
  • It can be used indoors and outdoors

#3 Luster Leaf 1605 Raptiest Digital Soil Testing Kit

Lustier Raptiest Digital Soil Testing Kit

  • It measures the fertility and acidity of the soil at the root level.
  • It’s non-volatile, does not require batteries
  • It can be used indoors and outdoors

Other ways to measure the acidity level at home

In addition to electronic testers, there are other ways of how to test soil pH at home.

Litmus strip

This is all an affordable option. Inexpensive and easy to use. The disadvantage is inaccurate readings, an error of about 2 units, but you can calculate the general picture of soil acidity. For this, soil samples from different parts of the site are taken. Dry substrate moistened with rainwater to a uniform mush. There should not be a lot of water. Litmus is added to the mixture.

Indications:

  • Pink – weakly acidic
  • Red – strong acidic
  • Blue, green – alkaline

Ways to measure acidity at home

You can determine the acidity with the help of improvised tools that every gardener has. The most faithful assistant in this business will be acetic acid – 9%. Collect soil samples from different sites, moisten with rainwater and pour the contents with a small amount of vinegar.

Indications:

  • There is no foam – alkaline soil
  • There is little foam – neutral
  • Substrate strongly foams – sour

You can get a general picture of the acidity of the soil with the help of leaves of black currant. Raw leaves are poured with boiling water and let stand for 20–30 minutes. Then samples of the soil are thrown into the resulting broth. If the liquid is green – the soil is neutral or alkaline, and if it turns blue – sour.