One of the biggest secrets to growing a healthy garden is having the perfect soil. Whether you are trying to brighten up your yard with some colorful flowers, or you would like to start enjoying growing your own fresh vegetables – soil is important. But how can you make sure that your soil is right for the plants that you would like to grow? The best way to do that is with a soil test.
While some people might think that luck plays a big role in gardening, there are plenty of ways that science has taken the gamble out of growing plants.
Why Do You Need to Test Your Soil?
If you can get a complete analysis of what is in your soil, you will know how it can be improved. If there’s anything truly wrong with your soil, you will be able to fix those issues, before you plant anything. One of the most frustrating things about being a gardener, is when you just can’t seem to make anything grow. You might be doing all of the right things, and tending to your plants vigilantly. However, sometimes certain things just will not grow – and that’s when you might realize that your soil is not ready to help plants grow.
Instead of wasting your time, energy, and money with a garden that has bad soil, you should accurately test your soil’s pH levels.
Using a Digital pH Meter to Test Your Soil
If you would like to remove the chance from gardening, and make sure that you grow the best plants possible, you should get your hands on a quality digital pH meter. They are pretty easy to buy, but some are better than others. If your pH meter isn’t accurate, or there’s something wrong with you particular device – you might totally mess up your soil.
Once you buy the best digital pH meter that you can afford, it’s time to learn how to properly use it in your garden. By following these simple steps, you will be able to get find out your soil’s pH levels.
- Dig around your soil, and take away the top two inches, using a shovel. You don’t need to do this for your entire garden; just dig out several spot, wide enough so that you can get a soil pH reading. You should test a few different areas, because the pH in soil can vary a lot, even in a small area.
- Loosen your soil, using a trowel, and dig down to around five inches. Take a scoop of the soil from this depth, and place it in the bucket. Be sure that you remove more than just the topsoil, however, so that you can get a thorough reading.
- Take your soil collections from each of the testing spots in your garden, and place them together in your bucket.
- Mix the samples of soil together, and make sure to do it thoroughly. Take out any bits of debris, or rocks.
- Take out two cups of your properly mixed soil, and place it in a container that is clean.
- Slowly add some distilled water to your container of soil, under it is wet enough to be easily compacted. Be careful that you don’t add too much water.
- If your digital pH meter came with a special towel or pad, use that to clean the probe area of the device, or just use some clean paper towel.
- Turn the digital pH meter on and place it into your container of soil sample. Twist it around so that it is properly in contact with your soil. Don’t let it touch the container, however.
- Leave the digital pH meter in your soil sample for the amount of time specified in the instructions. This might be around 60 seconds, depending on which model you purchased. Don’t take the probe out too soon, or leave it in for too long, or you might end up with an inaccurate reading.
- Take note of the pH reading that your soil meter gives you, and use this make the appropriate adjustments to your soil.
How to Buy the Best Digital pH Meter
When it comes to finding the top digital pH meter, you should really understand what you are buying. These are fairly complicated little devices, even if they don’t look like much. They need to be accurate enough to electronically measure the amount of pH that is in your soil. You might not be able to pick up a two-dollar device from overseas, and get good results.
Naturally, you don’t need to spend a fortune go get a digital pH meter that works, at least well enough for a small, home garden. There are some great products available online, or you might be able to pick one up at your local gardening store.
There are plenty of different opinions all over the Internet about the best digital pH meter to buy. The problem is that some people might claim the virtues of a specific brand, while just as many other people say that it’s garbage. How is anyone meant to know what the best value digital pH meter is?
How to Save Money on a Digital pH Meter
You can start by spending a lot of money, and choosing a well known brand. That is perfect for people who are not worried about how much money they need to spend. For the rest of you, however, that might be a serious issue. If you are worried about blowing your gardening budget, before you’ve even put a single seed in the soil, it’s best to find a low-to-mid level digital pH reader.
Look for Accuracy Levels
Look for pH soil testers that have a certain amount of accuracy. You want something that isn’t going to give you incorrect information, and that shouldn’t cost too much. Try to find one that allows you to calibrate it as well. This can ensure that the reading are accurate, because they can sometimes be out of calibration when you purchase them.