Is a Soil pH Tester Accurate? Let’s Find Out!

Every gardening manual or website recommends that you get your soil tested, with one of the main tests being for pH. You can either get a professional laboratory centre to do it for you, or you can invest in a soil pH tester and do the task yourself. Among the two options, people seem to scrutinise the use of a soil pH tester, claiming that it isn’t as accurate. However, is that the case? Let’s find out as we discuss further.


The Soil pH Tester


Soil testing can be done using three different types of soil pH testers: electronic meters, chemical coloured dyes, and indicator test strips. In every kind of tester, you take a sample of your soil and mix it with water or a buffer solution that’s provided by the pH tester product. The water is then tested for pH levels.



Chemical Coloured Dyes


Coloured dyed are mixed with the soil water, and the resulting colour is compared to a supplied chart to determine accurate pH levels. This is the least commonly used option as it contains various factors that can alter the result and make your readings inaccurate.


pH Test Strips


The pH test strips option comprises of advanced versions of the paper. True litmus paper is extremely inaccurate and entirely useless for measuring pH levels for soil. On the other hand, pH level strips are more accurate since they contain several colour sports on each piece. The lab grade version of pH level strips is much better and accurate than the ones sold for garden use. However, the former tends to be more expensive and rarer to find.


Electronic pH Meter


Finally, we have the electric pH meter, the best and most accurate type of soil pH tester among the three variants. This device comes with a probe which is then inserted into the soil water, with the pH being read directly from a display. Cheaper models come with a metallic probe, and the instructions suggest that you insert this directly in your soil. While they may be more convenient, you will never get a useful reading without first making the water solution as mentioned earlier. However, if you do, then not only is this the most convenient option, but also the most accurate one as well.


Have you decided on which soil pH tester you will purchase?  Avail all of these testers at Instrument Choice now! We have an extensive range of soil pH meters available to suit your needs.  Visit our website and shop today.