Soil Testing Kit - Water advice

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by AndyS, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. AndyS

    AndyS Gardener

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    Hi,

    I'm going to help a new community gardening group to test their soil. I have got them a probe and one of these TestWest soil testing kits -

    Soil Testing Kit, For pH, N, P & K. soil tester, - 80 tests PH Tester pH test 5018036004300 | eBay

    I don't have a lot of faith in either tbh, but sending off samples to RHS is prohibitively expensive.

    Anyway, the kit instructions say to mix soil samples with water and leave to sit for 24hrs before drawing off some of the water and mixing that with the chemicals supplied that to do the test. This seems unusual to me as I'm sure when I've used these things previously there has been no water involved and no 24hr waiting period?

    Anyway - what I'm confused about is the water - the instructions don't specify anything beyond 'water'. But surely tap water, mineral water, distilled water etc are all going to have a different pH level of their own - I don't see how this won't impact on the test?!

    Any advice on how to proceed so that I am actually able to get a soil pH reading that's not affected by the pH level of the water would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Andy

     
  2. Loofah

    Loofah Well used member

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    If you have a dehumidifier then the water from that would suit. If you're concerned about the tap water then perhaps test the pH of that first
     
  3. Jiffy

    Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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    Not sure if distiled water can be use
     
  4. AndyS

    AndyS Gardener

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    Hmm - I don't have a dehumidifier.

    I wouldn't say I'm concerned about the tap water as such, it's just that I've read tap water can apparently vary between 6.5 and 9.5 so surely mixing tap water and soil would affect the reliability of the test - as surely I'll be testing the pH of the soil & water cocktail rather than the actual soil itself?

    Maybe I've got this wrong or am overthinking it?
     
  5. john558

    john558 Super Gardener

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    Not sure will help Andy. A few years ago I bought a tester meter, one with a probe you push into the soil/compost. (I wanted to keep my lovely Hydrangea Blue)
    Ok, I've tested tap water/water butt water and*** The meter reading stayed the same for all three (7)

    *** When I boil an Egg I save the water for my seeds.
     
  6. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    For the sake of your garden PH tests, (and without getting mega complicated ) you can use Distilled, RO or De-ionised water, though I would get some from a good source rather than a relatively 'dirty' dehumidifier.

    You can buy bottles of De-ionised water from most car shops or the bigger branches of the main supermarkets £1 or £1.50 for 2lts+

    It may not register Neutral ph7.0 but its relatively so pure it will not affect any reading from the soil /water you produce.

    Also as well as testing the soil, test thinks like sand that you may use in your own compost mix, you can get very high results, even horticultural grade sand, until you rinse them.

    Also look at PH pens as they are very cheap now, though to get a good result you may have to calibrate with a solution each session, so order some extra calibration ph 7 crystals or fluid.


    001548.jpg
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  7. Mike77

    Mike77 Gardener

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    Why not collect some of the rain water that will be falling on your garden.
     
  8. Loofah

    Loofah Well used member

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    I'm just going to repost this! You have the pH test kit already so miss out the soil and you'll know the pH of your water and then account for it in the soil test
     
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