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Best pH Meters for Gardening

Among the most important factors that determine whether plants will thrive is the soil’s natural state of acidic, alkaline or neutral pH. Even if the pH is off by a little bit in either direction, it can result in a disastrous effect for plants.

 

In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices

 

This is why the best pH meter for gardening is among the most essential tools to have in your gardening arsenal. With the help of one of the following 5 handpicked pH meters, you can make sure that your plants are getting all the right nutrients to blossom healthily and happily.

 

The 5 Best pH Meters for Gardening

Of course, if this is your first time around, you could scroll on over to our buyer’s guide to understanding what features make these products the best pH meters for gardening.

 

1. Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination

The Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination is the perfect pH meter if you’re into hydroponic farming. This device can measure pH levels alongside conductivity and temperature so you can keep a check on your handiwork and make adjustments accordingly.

 

The first thing you will notice about this pH meter is that it is extremely lightweight and portable and it has a very long probe cable that measures up to 6.5 feet. With this extra long probe, you can easily stretch this device to inspect a large variety of plants.

 

Pros

  • This device is powered by 2 AAA batteries
  • Comes equipped with an auto-shutoff feature
  • The display also indicates low battery
  • You can begin pH calibration with a simple push of a button
  • Probe measures up to 6.5 feet
  • Sold with a 5 year limited guarantee

 

Cons

  • The instructions of this device might take some time to fully understand

 

2. Bluelab PENSOILPH pH Pen

In 2nd place, we have another product from the same brand called Bluelab PENSOILPH pH Pen. This device is considered to be a lab-quality glass pH probe and has the ability to measure pH levels in a large variety of places.

 

According to the manufacturer’s instruction, this device can provide accurate readings for hydroponic gardening, brewing, swimming pools and so many other areas. What’s more, the pH calibration feature of this probe can automatically make adjustments for different temperatures.

 

Pros

  • Kit includes a storage cap, calibration solution and an AAA battery
  • The probe is completely waterproof
  • Can read pH from 0 to 14
  • Can automatically adjust between temperatures
  • Has a very easy to use backlit display
  • Covered by 1 year limited warranty

 

Cons

  • Since it is a lab-quality pH probe, this product has a premium price range

 

3. Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit

Some reviewers have rated the Luster Leaf 1601 Rapitest Test Kit to be the best pH meter for gardening purposes. This is because of the fact that this kit can measure pH levels along with potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen levels.

 

Users will immediately notice that this device is a little different from the probes we have reviewed so far. This particular product uses color-coded comparators and small test kits instead of the usual probe. To use this kit, the green capsules have to be mixed with the soil and a few drops of water and the final colors can be matched against the scale provided on the bottle.

 

Pros

  • The color-coded system is very easy to use and provides accurate results
  • Consists of 40 test capsules (10 each for pH, potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen)
  • The detailed instructions are very easy to understand – even for beginners
  • The kit includes a list for soil pH preferences for more than 450 plants
  • Each test will produce the same results
  • Affordable

 

Cons

  • If the process is not followed correctly, results may be read incorrectly

 

4. Atree Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kits

The Atree Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kits is a helpful and easy to use tool that helps users grow many different types of plants and flowers. All they need to do is insert its probes into the soil anywhere between 4 to 6 inches and then flip a switch to read the pH meter’s reading.

 

Once the user begins to twist the probe while it is in the soil, the pH needle on the monitor will begin to denote a reading. There are no batteries needed, which means no inaccurate results because of lack of power or waiting around to charge the device.

 

Pros

  • No batteries required
  • The device can be easily used outdoors and indoors
  • Can evaluate when you need to water your plants, adjust pH levels or change lighting patterns
  • Simple plug and play use
  • Affordable
  • Accurate

 

Cons

  • The device takes about 10 minutes to produce accurate readings.

 

5. Yoyomax Soil Test Kit pH Moisture Light Tester

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Though the Yoyomax Soil Test Kit pH Moisture Light Tester has been listed right at the end of our list, its three-in-one design can easily overpower all other pH meters. This device not only measures the pH level in the soil but can also check for moisture content and whether plants are receiving enough sunlight.

 

This device can measure pH levels from 3.5 to 8 and each reading should take about 10 minutes to be absolutely accurate. Moreover, the probe is very lightweight and portable so it can be carried around to just about anywhere.

 

Pros

  • No batteries or charging required
  • Other than pH levels, it can also measure the overall condition of your soil
  • This device is very affordable
  • Can measure pH levels that vary from 3.5 to 8
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Users have reported that this device is especially useful for houseplants or container plants.

 

Cons

  • Just like the previous pH meter, this device also needs about 10 minutes to measure pH levels accurately.

 

What to Look for When Picking the Best PH Meter for Gardening

Ease of Use

When it comes to gardening, it wouldn’t matter if you have a doctorate in chemistry or not. Soil pH meter kits should be easy to use and gardeners should prefer those gizmos that provide easy to read outputs.

 

On the other hand, chemical dye kits can be a lot trickier to use, especially for people who don’t have any experience with chemistry. Probe style meters are, therefore, the safest investment because they only require users to stick the probe into a diluted soil sample or the ground.

 

Accuracy

Accuracy is a very important consideration and typically, chemical dye kits don’t return a specific value for output but they never fail in terms of accuracy. To ensure your probe meter is outputting accurate results, you can try to take the same reading a couple of times and then settle for the average.

 

Additionally, you can also take a soil sample from your garden and mail it over to the local lab so you can compare your probe meter’s pH output with their readings. This is a quick way of assessing how accurate your instrument really is.

 

Probe Depth

The golden rule for using pH probe meters is to measure the pH of plants at root level. However, the actual depth will vary according to the plants in your garden by anywhere between 2 to 10 inches.

 

Long probes tend to offer more versatility than shorter ones because they can be set at different depths, Alternatively, you can also use extra soil samples from any depth to take a reading without worrying about the meter’s length.

 

Range

All soil pH meters aren’t created equally and analog probe meters typically measure pH between the 3 to 8 range. This can be a sufficient feature for mature plants but seedlings and younger buds might require a little more control. This is where digital meters will be a better choice.

 

Digital pH meters are oftentimes developed for plant germination and they cover the plant’s entire pH spectrum ranging from 1 to 14. Similarly, chemical dye tests also provide very accurate results from all over the pH range.

 

Our Final Thoughts

In order to make sure that your beloved plants develop to their full potential, gardeners need to be able to measure pH levels properly. If, for instance, they notice that the leaves in their garden are turning yellow or are displaying other anomalies, then a good place to start troubleshooting would be to measure the soil’s pH level.

 

It is very important to buy and use the best pH meter for gardening purposes because they deliver the most accurate readings, especially if you’re trying to neutralize your soil’s pH level.