Using high-quality pH testers for soil or hydroponics in your garden can benefit your garden's health in many ways. Nutritional deficiencies may arise in your plants if the pH levels of your garden's soil don't fall in the ideal range. Consequently, your plants may not grow to their full extent, leading to a dismal harvest.
Therefore, this blog post will walk you through everything you need about soil pH, testing nutrient solutions for plants, TDS/EC, and more. Before discussing the best soil and hydroponic pH testers, let's find out more about these devices.
The importance of pH testing
Gardeners often overlook the importance of soil pH testing. Perhaps they do that because it is a hassle and takes a lot of time. However, pH testing is really important when it comes to the yield you are expecting from your garden. Plants can only obtain all the nutrients from the soil if their pH lies in an ideal range. Low or high pH leads to multiple deficiencies in plants as they cannot obtain all the nutrients.
Further, our blog will provide more information about nutrients and pH and how gardeners get confused about the reason for their plants' malnutrition. Adding more nutrients to the soil will continually worsen the problem. Therefore, the issue is not the lack of nutrients but the unsuitable pH.
More about a soil pH Tester
A soil pH tester test your soil's pH and its compatibility with the types of plants you are growing in your garden. Its prongs are inserted into the soil, giving you the pH reading on the display panel. Therefore, the tool is remarkable; however, depending on your gardening approach, you may also need a hydroponic or nutrient pH tester in your grow room.
A talk about the precision of soil pH Testers
Continuously checking the pH of your soil might make you question the precision of these tools. Also, the process is cumbersome, so you won't like repeating it again and again. You can compare the new results with the manual test results for precision. Manual tests are often a big hassle, and their results are also not that accurate. On the other hand, pH pens produce highly precise results and take only a fraction of the time taken by manual methods.
A nutrient pH Tester or hydroponic explained
A hydroponic or nutrient pH tester tests your hydroponic reservoir and nutrient solution. Unless you are well aware of the water's pH, you must use this tester even before feeding or watering.
Need for both: Soil and hydroponics pH Testers?
One of these tools would do just enough for your gardening needs. If you grow your plants in containers and want to test your soil's pH, first you need to take water pH, drench your pots, collect the runoff, and then run the test with your device.
How can you tell which pH Tester is the best?
With dozens of products available in the market, it is difficult for gardeners to choose the best one. Therefore, to evaluate your pH testers, take a look at the following aspects.
Importance of probe length in a soil pH Tester
Your pH tester's probe should be long enough to get deeper into your soil for better reading. Long probes can test conditions in plant roots. Also, the material used in probes should be of good quality to get a more precise reading.
pH Testers for EC, moisture, temperature, and Dual-Use
pH that can test moisture level, EC/TDS, and even sunlight ratings of your soil, along with pH testing, are graded as the best. Furthermore, some testers can even test pH in the soil and coco coir, making them better than their competitive products.
Portability, Durability, Lifespan, and Power Source
Factors like durability, quality of the materials used, quality, product performance, and portability are vital in rating the product. Additionally, its battery life also matters when it comes to testing the soil pH regularly.
The best soil pH Tester
The list of pH testers in this blog post mentions a few names that hobbyists and gardeners love. For your ease, we are discussing the commercial products as well. Commercial products are expensive but can automate the entire process.
Active air soil pH Testers
This product has two and three-way meters, which is best for hobbyists. The Active Air 2-Way Meter can tell your soil's acidity or basicity as it can test both the moisture content and pH level of your soil. That is not just it.
Further, the other variant, Active Air 3-Way Meter, can also measure light on top of moisture and soil pH. Both products are priced at around $15 and are best for those who want their plants to get maximum sunlight.
Bluelab Multimedia pH Meter provides more accuracy than other pH testers. It is probably the best product available in the market and can test almost any growth method. The ability to test the nutrient solution in addition to coco, soil, and other substrates is this product's strongest feature. Further, its calibration is simple and needs to be done after every 30 days.
On top of that, it notifies its user when it's time to calibrate. Additionally, this device also includes two AAA batteries, a backlit LCD, auto on/off functionality, a low battery indicator, and more features to get you going right away. It also offers a 5-year guarantee so that the users don't need to worry about any malfunction.
Most Effective pH Tester in Terms of Hydroponics Testing or Nutrient Solution
You should buy the best pH tester because it can test soil pH as well as nutrient solutions. The reason for its small prongs is that you only need to dip them in your hydroponic reservoir or nutrient solution to get a reading.
Therefore, these pH testers allow you full automation in your garden, increasing your work efficiency.
HMDigital PH/Temperature Meter is one of the best budget testers under $50 for hobbyists. Its simultaneous temperature checking feature ensures that the nutrition level is at just the right temperature. Here are some of its features:
- Data-hold function
- Auto on/off functionality
- Easy to store in 'grow tent' tool pouch
- Low-battery indicator
- Storage solution for longer meter life
- Factory calibrated for accurate readings
- Automatic temperature compensation
- Large LCD
- Easily calibrated
For around $100, Bluelab pH Pen is an absolute steal and is graded as one of the best products for pH testing. It is known for its simplicity, user-friendliness, and ultra-long life. It can also be paired with Bluelab ppm/EC Pen to know your feeding bucket or reservoir's nutrient content level. Following are some of the features of this device:
- Reading in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit
- Quick, hassle-free, and accurate testing
- Ultra-long life for double junction probe
- Easily readable Backlit LCD
- Hold reading function
- pH reading confirmation
- Low battery warning
- Easily calibrated and stored with solutions
BluelabGuardian Monitor automates your entire gardening process by constantly staying in your reservoir to monitor soil pH, temperature, and conductivity. Further, the device alerts the gardener in case of any required adjustments, so you don't need to check your garden conditions after every few minutes. Additionally, you can also configure alarms for high and low temperatures, and the device will beep if the temperature veers from the predefined range.
Some of its features complementing its accuracy are:
- Automatic calibration for conductivity and temperature
- Easily calibrated for pH
- Large LED for readings
- Enhanced endurance for RF interference
- Non-volatile memory
- Replaceable probes allow an ultra-long lifespan
BluelabpH Controller and Auto Doser automates dosing and monitoring the reservoir's pH, making the product one of a kind. This product is best for commercial growers because of its precision. It also saves a lot of time and money in the long run, making it best for commercial gardening. Here are some of its value-adding features:
- Easily programmable
- Easy to calibrate
- Auto monitoring and control of pH for up to 200 US gallons of reservoirs
- Dosing lockouts for overdosing protection
- Flashing high/low alarms having set points
- Wall-mount design
- Auto resume dosing in case of power loss
- Replaceable peristaltic tubes/pump and probes to ensure a long life for your door
- The 13-inch dosing tube allows you to install it at your convenience
How to take care of your pH Tester
A quality pH tester can add much value to your daily gardening, but you must take care of your product. Further, your meter probes may dry up and lose effectiveness if not stored in a suitable place. For instance, Bluelab pH Probe KCI Storage Solution is used to store the Bluelab pH Pen so that its probes stay hydrated.
Constant calibration of a pH device is necessary to ensure precision in its readings. Therefore, we have all the calibration and care supplies that you may need to keep your device functioning at its best.
Now that you have proper knowledge about soil and pH testers, you can pick the product at our store, GroIndoor.com, to guarantee you a healthy harvest.
Further, you can dial in your nutrient or soil pH to ensure your plants' proper uptake of nutrients via any of these products. Once you get your meter, we advise you to read our instructions on how to measure pH so that your gardening journey becomes easy.