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Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al Toplef10Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al 1zd3ho10

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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al I22gcj10Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al 14dhcg10

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Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al

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Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al Empty Digital soil testers, Ph, moisture et al

Post  Chuck d'Argy 8/6/2022, 2:34 pm

I have been looking at various digital soil testers. I know there are analog testers, such as litmus paper for ph, but also digital types of every description.

Does anyone have experience,, good or bad, with digital types? If so how did it work for you?

Thanks
Chuck
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Post  OhioGardener 8/6/2022, 3:18 pm

Chuck d'Argy wrote:I have been looking at various digital soil testers. I know there are analog testers, such as litmus paper for ph, but also digital types of every description.

Does anyone have experience,, good or bad, with digital types? If so how did it work for you?

I don't have any personal ownership or experience with them other than a neighbor one time brought his over to test some of my beds.  It was basically an exercise in futility. Since I use a soilless medium in the beds, the pH levels never change, and the NPK readings detected by a meter are useless.  The fun part was that he tested the pH in a bunch of places in each bed, and he got different readings on every test. So, we assumed it was all about averages.

I have an inexpensive analog soil meter purchased at the local Lowe's store which tests for pH, light, and moisture.  I periodically use it to test for the moisture levels 4" or 5" down, but other than that I don't use the other functions.  We did use it to compare the readings my neighbor was getting on his digital one, and the readings were similar.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Moisture-Light-and-PH-Meter/999989626

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Post  markqz 8/6/2022, 4:04 pm

Chuck d'Argy wrote:I have been looking at various digital soil testers. I know there are analog testers, such as litmus paper for ph, but also digital types of every description.

First, I'm required by law to mention that there shouldn't be any reason to check for pH with SFG.

That said, I have an inexpensive meter similar to OH. It seems to give plausible pH readings. But for better quality readings, I would suggest a good quality, plastic-backed litmus strip. The light meter on most of these cheap meters tops off at 2000 lux -- that's basically shade cover! Good quality light meters run above $150. If you have an Android phone, you can (sometimes) use it as a light meter with a free app. I'm using SatStat, because it gives a lot of other information. It may not be perfect, but it gives readings that seem to be at least ballpark, and don't top-out at 2000 !

The best part of a cheap meter is the moisture detector. It saves you having to plunge your fingers into 4 inch deep soil. It helps to monitor, for instance, if the drip watering is doing an effective job or not, where you may need to measure in a half dozen squares.

Meters that can detect nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous usually have specialty probes and are very pricey. They probably are not accurate for compost-based nitrogen. In fact, even labs disavow accurate readings for Nitrogen in organic material.
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Post  sanderson 8/6/2022, 5:41 pm

My brand new cheap moisture meter was delivered today.  The wet beds read wet.  The dry beds read dry.  The moist beds read moist.  Wondering why I bought it.  Well, at least I know it's accurate.  tongue

https://www.amazon.com/iPower-Soil-Moisture-Meter-Hygrometer/dp/B09DYK898F/ref=asc_df_B09DYK898F?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80127029642294&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583726555804990&th=1

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Post  OhioGardener 8/6/2022, 7:00 pm

sanderson wrote:My brand new cheap moisture meter was delivered today.  The wet beds read wet.  The dry beds read dry.  The moist beds read moist.  Wondering why I bought it.  Well, at least I know it's accurate.  tongue

lol!

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Post  Chuck d'Argy 8/6/2022, 7:44 pm

markqz wrote:
Chuck d'Argy wrote:I have been looking at various digital soil testers. I know there are analog testers, such as litmus paper for ph, but also digital types of every description.

First, I'm required by law to mention that there shouldn't be any reason to check for pH with SFG.

Then by law I should also get outstanding produce.

What is the phone # for the vegetable police so I can turn in violators?
Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post  OhioGardener 8/6/2022, 9:25 pm

Chuck d'Argy wrote:
markqz wrote:
First, I'm required by law to mention that there shouldn't be any reason to check for pH with SFG.
Then by law I should also get outstanding produce.

What is the phone # for the vegetable police so I can turn in violators?
Laughing Laughing Laughing

I think it 1-800-EAT-KALE, or something like that...

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