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Scott Martucci
Posts: 12
Location: Boonsboro, Maryland - Zone 6b/7a
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Has anyone used this meter in their garden soil. Seems to say it will measure both moisture and ph but I am looking for direct experience before I decide to order it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NTPVHOG/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1OUCDELVDVYFL
 
Kyle Neath
pollinator
Posts: 192
Location: High Sierras, CA 6400'
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I have used this for about a year and it seems to work fairly well for a rough check on pH. I primarily use it for my worm farm and when I'm out exploring different areas of my property. I have only checked the accuracy in one location, and only versus a traditional soluble capsule based approach (the little capsules you dissolve in soil & water and compare the color to determine pH). I should be getting professional lab results on some soil soon, and I'll be sure to check the meter against that as well.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3155
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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That is probably a fair assessment of such meter types Kyle.
Unless you have calibrating solutions to check the pH meter accuracy I would not stake much on their readings since you have no way of zeroing the pH function.
Same with the moisture content, with a single probe end that is relying on ion exchange already in the soil, I would consider the accuracy suspect.
Another thing to look out for is the range of pH this meter doesn't have, it has a low end of 3 and a high end of 8, so while it does give a fair low end for acidic soils the upper end of basic soils might be above what the meter can read.

The link below is for a selection of pen meters that are far better choices for soil needs, most come with a calibration fluid and even batteries (you want battery power, trust me on this).

pH meters and moisture meters

Redhawk

 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1058
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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A seller at Bunnings told me that they are far less accurate than the measuring kits. I believe that these kits probably last longer than cheap meters.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 3155
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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The best pH  meters are used in chemistry and biology laboratories, most folks don't want to spend hundreds of dollars for these meters nor do they want to spend the money for standard solutions to keep them calibrated and thus accurate to 0.001%.
Fortunately this is not necessary for soil unless you just have to have very accurate measurements. Even hydroponics and aquaponics don't require such accuracy to do well.

For most farmers, simple litmus paper testing will suffice. From there, you can get as accurate as you desire by spending more on the equipment and learning how to use it and maintain it.
 
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