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Best Soil PH Tester Kits Reviews 2023

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best soil ph tester kits reviewsIs your garden a barren wasteland of death where plants fear to take root? Have your best efforts yielded merely a patchy lawn and pathetic vegetable harvest? Don’t despair! The secret to lush greenery and bountiful crops has been right under your feet all along.

Armed with the best soil pH tester kit, you can unlock your soil’s full potential and unleash a botanical paradise in your own backyard. Getting the perfect pH balance is like finding the holy grail of gardening, transforming even the most cursed plot into a Garden of Eden.

With just a few quick tests, these genius gizmos take the guesswork out of growing by giving you the power to tailor amendments to your soil’s unique needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Test soil pH yearly before planting and in fall before winter for accuracy. Use test strips for simplicity or digital meters for precision.
  • Adjust too high or low soil pH by adding elemental sulfur or limestone respectively.
  • Check soil moisture and sunlight levels regularly to ensure plants get proper growth conditions.
  • Clean pH probe after each use and store it properly to maintain accuracy. With optimal pH, plants can access nutrients for vigorous growth.

Why Test Soil PH?

Why Test Soil PH
You need to test your soil’s pH because if it’s too high or low, your plants won’t thrive like you want them to. Soil testing reveals deficiencies and acidity levels. Use a reliable pH tester to check areas where plants struggle.

Collect soil samples from around roots, not just surface level. Follow kit instructions for accurate testing.

Adjust pH with limestone to raise, or sulfur to lower. Test in fall before planting, allowing time for amendments to take effect.

Proper pH boosts nutrient availability, resulting in vigorous growth and bountiful harvests.

Features of Top Soil PH Test Kits

Features of Top Soil PH Test Kits
Accurate readings are key when testing and monitoring your soil’s pH. Look for kits that offer precise results to properly gauge this critical metric. Straightforward operation streamlines the process, so select user-friendly testers that simplify pH measurement.

Long, sturdy probes thoroughly penetrate the earth to fully assess conditions below the surface. Since optimal soil pH unlocks nutrients, choose high-performing kits that provide insight into this foundational factor supporting plant health and vigor.

Varying probe length, ease of use, and measurement precision equips you to regularly check pH levels, unlocking a nuanced understanding of your soil.


While digital meters offer precise pH readings, analog meters have the advantage of simplicity for basic testing needs. The accuracy levels of analog soil pH testers rely on matching soil color changes to a chart; they lack temperature compensation effects and fine pH resolution.

Still, their ease of use and affordability make analog test strips a handy option for occasional soil testing. Probe maintenance and result reliability matter more for frequent gardeners needing exact pH values to properly amend their acidic or alkaline soil with lime.

Ease of Use

After testing several kits, we’ve found the Sonkir 3-in-1 meter quite user-friendly with its convenient portability and no-fuss probes, though occasionally requiring adjustments for accuracy’s sake.

  • Simple one-step testing process
  • Intuitive display screens
  • Portable for use anywhere
  • Durable construction for repeated use

When selecting a soil pH testing kit, ease of use is a top priority. The testing process should be straightforward and the results clearly displayed, with minimal fussing over calibration. Portable handheld units allow testing in any location. Durable construction ensures the meter lasts through the seasons.

With a focus on convenience, soil pH testing can become a simple, insightful part of your gardening routine.

Probe Length

The long 7-8 inch probe reaches plant roots for accuracy. With alkalinity factors in mind, the probe length ensures moisture sensor accuracy at the root zone. Regular probe cleaning techniques and calibration frequency become crucial for optimal substrate testing applications.

The durable pH probe gives gardeners precise data to optimize plants’ needs on the pH scale.

Types of Soil PH Tests

Types of Soil PH Tests
When testing your soil’s pH level, you’ll find there are two main methods: chemical and electronic. Chemical testers utilize color changes on test strips, while electronic testers give a direct pH readout on a digital screen or dial.


You can accurately measure soil pH using chemical test kits that provide color-coded results. These kits usually contain test strips or solutions that change color when mixed with soil samples, allowing you to match the color to a chart and determine the pH.

They provide quick readings without needing to probe deeply into the soil. However, interpretations depend on your ability to distinguish subtle color changes. Overall, chemical kits are affordable, straightforward ways for homeowners to test soil alkalinity and acidity.


You’re way ahead with an electronic tester for measuring soil pH precisely and efficiently in multiple areas.

The Bluelab pen has long probes to reach plant roots for accuracy. The Gain Express meter has a wide pH range to test any soil. The 4-in-1 tester has an LCD display for a clear digital readout. The Kensizer meter has replaceable probes to improve durability.

Care for the electrode by cleaning after use and storing properly. Avoid forcing into dry, hard soil, which can damage the durable moisture sensor. For convenience, choose a model with batteries to enable mobile root zone and moisture testing in the garden.

Precision sensors provide the advantage, yet require maintenance for optimal accuracy when measuring soil nutrients.

How to Use a Soil PH Meter

How to Use a Soil PH Meter
Before grabbing those soil samples, you’ll want to properly calibrate your pH meter first. Then simply insert the probe into moist soil, allow it to stabilize, and note the reading to determine if your soil is too acidic or alkaline for optimal plant growth.

Taking Measurements

Insert the probe gently into the moistened soil, wait 10 seconds, then remove and wipe it clean before testing the next sample.

  • Test frequently for a complete soil analysis. Measure different areas to account for variability.
  • Cost and utility determine frequency. Affordable test strips use often, while sending soil to a lab may be once a season.
  • The ideal pH range depends on your plants. Blueberries need acidic soil, while vegetables grow best around neutral.
  • Adjust pH with soil amendments like iron sulfate to lower, or lime to increase. Give amendments time to take effect before retesting.

Routine testing unlocks your soil’s potential, allowing you to tailor conditions to each plant. Probe gently, wait, wipe, and repeat for optimal growth. With the right frequency, you’ll master soil health for your garden.


Before measuring pH, ensure your meter is properly calibrated. Calibrate the pH meter before each use for accurate readings. Use pH calibration fluids like buffer solutions of pH 7 and pH 4. Submerge the probe, allow stabilization, then adjust to proper values.

After use, rinse and gently wipe the probe clean. Store the meter and probe according to recommendations; avoid freezing temperatures or drying out probes. New technology offers calibration-free digital meters, but conventional ones still require calibration.

Proper calibration and probe care ensure your soil pH readings are accurate for monitoring plant growth, soil fertility, and more in your vegetable garden.

Adjusting Soil PH

Adjusting Soil PH
If your soil is too alkaline, you can lower the pH by mixing in acidic materials like sphagnum peat moss, pine needles, or elemental sulfur. Just be careful not to overdo it when adding these amendments. To raise the pH of acidic soil, incorporate pelletized limestone, wood ash, or crushed eggshells.

Getting your soil into the ideal pH range takes some trial and error, but with a little care you can create the perfect environment for your plants to thrive. Test your soil pH regularly and add balancing amendments as needed to maintain optimal conditions.

And remember, moderation is key – significant changes to pH can shock plant roots, so go slowly. With the right adjustments over time, you’ll give your garden the fertile, pH-balanced soil it needs.

Raising PH

To raise soil pH, simply spread agricultural limestone over the lawn or garden and water it in.

  • Add 1-2 pounds per 100 square feet to raise pH by 0.5 points.
  • Work lime into the soil before planting vegetables and flowers.
  • Dolomitic lime also adds magnesium plants need.
  • Lime takes several months to fully react in soil.
  • Retest pH after 3-4 weeks to check if more applications are needed.

A benevolent gardener aiming for mutual success starts with conscientious soil tests. Adjusting the pH ensures your lawn and garden thrive with strong, healthy plants. Like good people everywhere, take the time to understand and thoughtfully care for the soil.

With the right pH balance, your flowers and vegetables will prosper thanks to your altruistic actions.

Lowering PH

You can lower soil pH with elemental sulfur or acidic organic matter like pine needles. To lower pH and correct alkaline soils, incorporate sulfur into beds. Or, mulch with pine bark, pine needles, peat moss or rotted leaves.

Test pH levels mid-season to see if there is improvement. Acidic soils also need phosphorus. Elemental sulfur provides long-lasting pH adjustment without harming soil life. Regularly monitor and amend pH for nutrient availability and root health.

When to Test Soil PH

When to Test Soil PH
Having adjusted your soil’s pH, don’t stop there. Continue monitoring to ensure optimal levels for your plants. Test pH before each growing season and every 2-3 months during the season. This allows you to maintain the ideal range, not just reach it once.

For farms, test individual beds since soil varies. Test annual beds each season, while perennial beds can be checked every 2-3 years. Use a quality pH test kit to take soil samples 6-8 inches deep from multiple spots.

Mix samples in a clean bucket to get a representative pH reading. Spring and fall are the best times for testing and making amendments. Don’t just test once – regular soil pH checks mean you’ll keep your plants happy all season long.

Gain Express Soil PH Moisture Meter Long Electrode

Gain Express Soil Ph &View On Amazon
The Gain Express soil pH and moisture meter eliminates guesswork with its long electrode that penetrates deep to provide reasonably accurate readings right at your fingertips. This affordable tester features a thick 295mm probe to reach plant roots and determine pH levels from 3-8, while the moisture sensor indicates wetness to prevent overwatering.

The easy-to-use tabletop unit requires no batteries or electricity for operation. While not lab-grade, it provides the home gardener with sufficient accuracy to adjust soil nutrients and pH when paired with the included color-coded reference chart.

Some downsides are the fragile probe tip and slow response time when sampling multiple sites, but for the low price it’s a handy soil analysis tool.

  • Long electrode reaches plant roots
  • Affordable price
  • No batteries/electricity needed
  • Fragile probe tip
  • Slow response time
  • Questionable accuracy

Sonkir Soil Moisture Light PH Meter Gardening Tool Kit

SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02View On Amazon
This handy-dandy 3-in-1 wonder meter lets you effortlessly check moisture, pH, and sunlight for healthy houseplants and fabulous gardens without batteries or calibration. With a simple insertion into the soil, it provides an at-a-glance look at your plant’s vital signs.

The slender moisture probe slides easily into pots or garden beds, giving an instant reading to prevent both underwatering and overwatering catastrophe.

The built-in sunlight sensor quantifies the all-important light conditions your sun-loving zinnias and shade-dwelling ferns need to thrive.

While not laboratory-grade, the pH sensor can indicate acidity trends. Track pH changes when switching fertilizers or adding amendments to optimize soil and unlock nutrients.

  • Convenient 3-in-1 tool
  • Portable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Helps prevent under/overwatering
  • Monitors light and pH
  • PH readings may need calibration
  • Durability concerns
  • Light meter less accurate than others

Bluelab Combo Meter PH Temperature Conductivity Nutrient Hydroponics

Bluelab METCOM Combo Meter forView On Amazon
You’ll value the precise readings from Bluelab’s combo meter for optimizing your hydroponic nutrients. This high-end meter combines lab-quality pH, conductivity, and temperature probes in one convenient unit.

The large LCD clearly displays all three parameters for at-a-glance monitoring. Calibration’s a breeze with auto indicators and push button pH calibration. The sealed, waterproof casing means you can fully submerge it without worries. Conductivity’s shown in your choice of measurement scales to match your nutrient labels.

Bluelab’s reputation for accuracy and reliability means no more guessing – you’ll dial in the perfect nutrient ratios for vigorous growth. With ATC temperature compensation, readings stay accurate if temperatures fluctuate.

The replaceable probes do have limited lifespans, but the meter itself has a 5 year warranty. For growers wanting maximum control and precision, this combo meter’s money well spent.

  • Accurate lab-grade glass probes
  • Simultaneously measures 3 parameters
  • Automatic temperature compensation
  • Easy push button pH calibration
  • 5 year warranty on meter
  • Expensive compared to basic testers
  • Probes require replacement

Soil PH Meter Moisture Light Tester for Garden Farm Lawn Indoor Outdoor

Atree Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1View On Amazon
Readin’ its pH ain’t reliable, so ya best look elsewhere if needin’ accurate acidity data. Though it works fine for water and sunlight, this here 3-in-1 tester aims to help monitor your garden’s health by measurin’ soil moisture, pH levels, and sunlight exposure without needin’ batteries or calibration.

It’s got probes that sense changes in the soil and display the values on a small screen for convenient at-home testin’. The moisture and light readings can surely help determine when to water and adjust lightin’, preventin’ overwaterin’.

But seems the pH measurements are stuck around 8.0, even with vinegar controls. So they just ain’t accurate for proper soil amendments.

Still, it provides some handy information for plant care like moisture and sunlight intensity. Just don’t rely on it for pH adjustments, or ya’ll end up burnin’ your plants. Consider it for waterin’ reminders but look elsewhere for true soil pH data.

  • Handy moisture readings to prevent overwatering
  • Measures sunlight intensity for outdoor plants
  • Portable and compact for indoor use
  • No batteries or electricity required
  • PH readings seem inaccurate and get stuck
  • Hard to read small display
  • Lack of instructions on usage
  • Short lifetime of a few months

Garden Tutor Soil PH Test Kit

Garden Tutor Soil pH TestView On Amazon
Ready to unlock the secrets of your soil? Skip the guesswork and know your pH with the Garden Tutor test kit. Simply grab a trowelful of earth, add water to make muddy soup, and dip in the test strip. In one minute flat, you’ll have your answer by matching the color tabs. Now you can fine-tune fertilizer, deal with fungus, and give every plant exactly what it craves — the perfect pH.

From hydrangeas to tomatoes, this kit has you covered. Testing around the yard creates a pH map to target trouble spots. The handy guidebook even suggests amendments to raise or lower your levels. While the color matching takes a careful eye, it beats lugging around a meter.

For simple, fast, and affordable readings, the Garden Tutor kit is your soil sleuth sidekick.

  • Simple and affordable
  • Quick color-coded results
  • Tests all soil types
  • Includes detailed soil guidebook
  • Test strip colors can be hard to match accurately
  • Doesn’t test specific soil nutrients
  • Requires adding water and mixing soil

Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss 10 Quart

Hoffman 15503 Canadian Sphagnum PeatView On Amazon
Blending this sphagnum peat moss into your garden soil can help acidify it for growing blueberries. With its 99.8% organic composition, this premium grade peat moss boosts moisture retention and nutrient availability when mixed into garden beds or potting soil.

The lightweight plastic bag makes for convenient transport and storage. Simply blend it into your existing topsoil to create the ideal acidic environment blueberry plants prefer. Users advise mixing with perlite or compost as well for a custom soilless growing media.

While some find the 2.9 lb bag pricey based on volume, this versatile product serves many gardening needs. Use it to recover tired potting soil or as a nutrient-rich cutting medium. Let this premium peat moss unlock your soil’s potential for thriving berry bushes and acid-loving plants.

  • Acidifies soil for plants like blueberries
  • Increases moisture retention
  • Nutrient rich
  • Good cutting medium
  • Versatile uses
  • Plastic bag not resealable
  • Some found expensive based on volume
  • Can be messy/dusty to handle

Southern Ag Aluminum Sulfate Soil Acidifier

Southern Ag Aluminum Sulfate (AcidifiesView On Amazon
Acid-loving gardenias crave this liquid lifeline that sweetens soil’s sour side. Transform your garden’s pH balance with Southern Ag’s 5 liter jug of aluminum sulfate, the gentle giant that coaxes acid-loving plants like hydrangeas and rhododendrons to flourish.

Carefully follow the recommended application rates to reap rewards, not regret. Excessive use damages delicate roots and leaves, so tread lightly, addressing only excess alkalinity.

See your garden shift from stagnant to spectacular as this metallic miracle-worker optimizes soil chemistry for your prized azaleas and camellias. No need to sweat soil test strips when this trusty tonic titrates pH trouble spots with ease.

Reshape your landscape with the transformative power of aluminum sulfate, unlocking your soil’s full potential.

  • Lowers soil pH and alkalinity
  • Improves flower color in acid-loving plants
  • Liquid form dissolves quickly
  • Reusable jug
  • Can burn plants if over-applied
  • Doesn’t provide application directions in cups
  • Jug may be heavy and awkward to pour
  • Contains aluminum which some avoid

Earthborn Elements Ammonium Sulfate Soil Additive Nitrogen Source

Earthborn Elements Ammonium Sulfate (1View On Amazon
You’re finding this American-made fertilizer dissolves fast for spreading around plant roots, helping neglected lawns in the second year of care. Made purely in the USA, this soil additive and acidifier provides a natural nitrogen source to gardens, trees, and lawns without harsh chemicals or fillers.

The powder is easy to dissolve in water according to package directions, then simply spread around plants as needed every few months. Users praise it for quickly greening up lawns, improving fruit crops, and eliminating moss.

The reusable bucket features a handy pull tab and plastic lid openers for easy opening without sore hands. While providing an organic boost of nitrogen, be cautious not to over-apply as excess could potentially damage plants.

  • Natural, chemical-free nitrogen source
  • Made in the USA, no fillers
  • Reusable bucket with easy open features
  • Quickly dissolves for spreading around plants
  • Improves lawns and fruit crops
  • Can harden into chunks, requiring breaking down
  • Excess application risks plant damage
  • Powder form requires mixing with water before use
  • Doesn’t state nitrogen percentage

Sta Green Fast Acting Lime Organic Lime Ph Balancer

Sta-Green Fast-Acting Lime 5-lb OrganicView On Amazon
This 5 pound bag of lime feels like you got ripped off paying much more for a small amount on Amazon. At just under $16, this compact bag is pricier than picking up a larger bag of lime from your local garden store.

While lime is an essential soil amendment for raising pH and enabling plants to access nutrients, the value here simply doesn’t match up.

For the gardener aiming to grow beautiful, thriving flowers and vegetables, proper soil pH is crucial. However, there’re likely more budget-friendly options for balancing your soil’s acidity. The product itself seems high quality and effective, but the quantity falls short for the price.

Consider doing a bit of comparison shopping to find a better lime value for your gardening needs.

  • Works quickly to raise soil pH
  • Quality calcium carbonate lime
  • Easy to apply granular format
  • Very small 5 lb bag for $16 price
  • Much pricier than buying locally
  • Poor value compared to other options

Pure Original Potassium Bicarbonate Leavening Ingredients

Pure Original Ingredients Potassium BicarbonateView On Amazon
Pure Original’s 16 ounce resealable package of this natural cheese-flavored baking powder provides a sodium-free, additive-free way to add lift to baked goods while supplementing potassium. But this American-sourced powder isn’t just for baking. Made in the USA, Pure Original’s Potassium Bicarbonate Leavening Ingredients give you a salty taste without excessive sodium.

Sprinkled around acid-loving plants like hydrangeas and blueberries, the potassium bicarbonate in this product can raise soil pH without the risks of overapplying traditional lime. The fine powder dissolves quickly in water for easy application. While too much can burn plant roots, proper doses of this all-natural fertilizer promote vigorous blooms and prevent fungal issues.

Just beware – some gardeners report receiving rock-hard chunks needing to be broken down before use.

  • Addresses low soil pH without limestone
  • Provides potassium nutrition
  • Made in USA without additives
  • Can burn roots if over-applied
  • May come hardened into chunks
  • Excess potassium poses health risks

Caring for Your Soil PH Meter

Caring for Your Soil PH Meter
After using your soil pH meter, you’d carefully clean the probe before storing it away to ensure accurate future readings. To keep your soil pH meter functioning optimally, calibrate it frequently using the provided solutions.

This ensures precise data for amending your garden properly. When testing, gently insert the probe into moistened soil, taking care not to force it in too deeply. Overuse wears down the probe tip prematurely. Always wipe off any clinging dirt then rinse the probe in clean water after use.

For storage, place it in electrode storage solution or pH 4 buffer. With proper care, your soil pH meter provides the key data you need to unlock your soil’s full potential. Monitoring and maintaining the ideal pH results in vibrant blossoms and bountiful harvests.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I test my soil’s pH level?

Test your soil’s pH yearly. For veggies, test before planting each new crop. When starting a garden or new plants, test the site first.

What are some signs that my soil’s pH is too high or too low?

You’ll notice stunted growth and yellowing leaves if the soil is too acidic. With alkaline soil, leaves may turn brown or blue-green.

How long does it take for pH amendments like lime or sulfur to take effect?

It takes weeks for pH amendments to change your soil, my impatient friend. While instant gratification tempts the impulsive gardener, true mastery requires patience. Let the lime and sulfur work their gradual magic as you watch your soil transform like an aspiring artist perfecting her craft.

Can I use a soil pH meter for houseplants as well as gardens?

Yes, you can use a soil pH meter for houseplants as well as gardens. Houseplants thrive best in pH ranges similar to gardens. Simply insert the probe into the potting mix and wait for an accurate reading. These meters work for any type of soil.

Is it okay to test soil pH right after fertilizing or should I wait?

You can test the soil pH right after fertilizing. The key is taking multiple samples from around the yard, like a bee flitting between flowers, to get an accurate average pH.

Letting the fertilizer disperse for a few days provides the truest readings across your lawn or garden.


You’ve got the knowledge – now get growing! Arm yourself with the best soil pH tester to unlock your garden’s potential. Matching your soil’s needs nurtures thriving, bountiful plants. Choose a tester that fits your style, from fuss-free strips to high-tech digital precision.

Whatever path you pick, you’ll reap the benefits of balanced soil. Give your crops their best chance to flourish and use the right soil pH tester today.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.