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pH soil testers

Discussion in 'Tools And Equipment' started by JackJJW, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. JackJJW

    JackJJW Super Gardener

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    Hiya

    Has anyone had any luck with pH soil testing kits?

    I've tried both the metal ones and the chemical ones but have struggled to find trustworthy results. For instance, in two London gardens, mine and one other, the metal one comes out acid. But using chemical they look green - and I can't tell if that green is meant to be alkaline or neutral.

    I've come to the conclusion the metal gadget is broken. But I'm still finding it hard to differentiate between alkaline and neutral :-/

    Jack
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Those cheap pH meters with a probe are useless. With your chemical kits there should be a instruction booklet with the colours so you can match it up. I've used them and believe they are very accurate.

    Alternatively you can use the RHS Soil testing service which is £25 for members, it will not only tell you the pH but a summary of the major nutrients as well:

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/membership/rhs-gardening-advice/soil-analysis
     
  3. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    Just resurrecting this old thread as it still seems relevant.

    Have been using one of the liquid types of Soil PH test kits, the one where you dry the soil sample vs the Rapitest one where you mix the soil with a cup of water.

    The results seemed quiet clear but it is a bit of a lengthy procedure with either type.

    Many years ago we did try one of those those unpowered push in probe type of meter, but it seemed to give the same reading in anything ! Still no idea how a passive device can detect ph ?

    Today we have these more modern battery powered push in probes, so wondered if anyone had tried one and also been able to compare it to a liquid test kit or even a soil testing service like the RHS etc ?



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    • Sandy Ground

      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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      Most experts seem to say that the best way of testing soil is by getting it analised in a laboratory. Whilst that would be true for the sample provided, its not the whole truth. Using my own garden as an example, what I have found is that the values change over time, which does tend to make lab testing as regards pH a bit pointless.

      My opinion is this. Look for three things in a home tester. Long, double prongs, no battery, and a readout that gives the readings in increments of 0,1. That type should be accurate for most of us amateurs.
       
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