Best Soil pH Tester Kits Reviews – 2021 Edition

You can water and nourish your grass all you want, but if the soil isn’t in the right condition, your grass has no chance of thriving. 

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Why Is Soil pH So Important?

Soil pH is important because it determines the availability of all the nutrients plants need. A pH level of 6.5 is usually an ideal soil pH. However, this can vary as different species of plants have different soil pH requirements. Read more about the importance of soil testing.

Picture yourself buying new sod and laying it in your yard, or planning a new garden only to see it growing weak or failing to grow at all.

Giving your new sod or grass seeds water and killing the weeds aren’t good enough if you want them to grow to their full potential.

Soil pH influences the factors affecting your plant’s growth. These are soil bacteria, soil structure, nutrient availability, and nutrient leaching. Generally speaking, pH levels of 5.5 to 6.5 offer the right amount of nutrients to plants. 

You can either test your soil pH by sending soil samples to the lab or at home with one of the following soil pH testers.

The Best Soil pH Tester Reviews

Gain Express Soil pH + Moisture Meter Review – Most Reliable for Lawns & Gardens

Gain Express Soil pH And Moisture Meter review

The Gain Express is an easy-to-use meter that uses a single probe to measure pH levels at a range of three to eight.

By pressing the button on the base, you’re able to test the moisture level of the soil accurately. Batteries aren’t an issue with this meter. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about replacing them or receiving inaccurate results as a result of low battery power. 

This product is specially designed to be easily portable and lightweight. Adding to this, it’s equipped with a long probe, thereby allowing you to get soil readings that are deep down by the roots.

This meter has a range from 3-8 pH and the accuracy claimed on the box is ± 0.2 pH which I find acceptable based on my usage. It also checks the soil moisture level from 1-8.

No batteries are required, just probe it into the ground to get your reading.

Soil PH Meter, Soil Moisture Sensor Meter, Soil PH Tester...
570 Reviews
Soil PH Meter, Soil Moisture Sensor Meter, Soil PH Tester...
  • 【Accurate pH and Moisture Measurement】: Achieve optimum results with this pH and moisture meter. It provides accurate and reliable readings to determine the pH levels and moisture content of different types of soil. Ensure your crops, vegetables, flowers, shrubs, trees, and fruits receive the proper nutrients for maximum growth.
  • 【Versatile and Practical】: Suitable for commercial use in vineyards, orchards, field production, and lawn maintenance, as well as for home use in gardens, planters, and lawn maintenance. This meter is designed to meet strict quality and safety standards, ensuring its effectiveness in various applications.
  • 【Deep Penetration and Durability】: The longer and slender 295mm electrode allows for deep penetration into the soil, providing comprehensive measurements. With a waterproof metal electrode/probe and durable construction, this meter guarantees a trouble-free and long-lasting life.

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Luster Leaf 1840 Rapitest Digital Soil pH Tester Review

luster leaf soil ph meter

Determining the pH of your soil is easy with the Luster Leaf’s digital soil pH tester. It features advanced LED technology and a unique optical calibration system to read the pH of the soil and give back reliable results within minutes.

Be prepared for the extensive instructions, but on a brighter note, these are easy to follow. The process may be long, but it helps ensure the most accurate results. Included in the test kit is a test tube as well as 10 test capsules and a liquid dropper. This gives you the ability to test your soil’s pH level on ten separate occasions.

Moreover, it comes with pH references for over 400 plants. This gives you the ability to apply the results in the necessary way to get the right pH for the specific plants you have in your garden.  

Sonkir Soil pH Meter MS02 3-in-1 Review – Least Expensive

Sonkir Soil pH Meter review

Something unique about this pH tester is that it not only checks the pH of your soil but tests moisture and sunlight levels as well. This ensures that you can make all the necessary adjustments to your garden to allow your plants to thrive.

Another great feature is that it is easy to use. All you need to do is put the double probe into the soil. Make sure to insert it approximately two to four inches.

After this, you can toggle the switch to what parameter you wish to measure. Then sit back and relax and wait for the results which takes about 10 minutes. 

Moreover, this pH tester is battery-free. You no longer need to worry about replacing the batteries.

This makes this product convenient and reliable, as there won’t be any inaccurate results due to a shortage of battery power. The tester can test a vast amount of pH levels, running from 3,5 to 8.   

SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester...
42,199 Reviews
SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester...
  • Kindly NOTE: This soil tester can not be applied to test pH value of any other liquid. If the soil is too dry the indicator will not move, and water it before testing.
  • 3 METERS IN ONE: Soil moisture level, Soil pH value and Sunlight level could be tested easily according to your need by switching the function button of this soil meter.
  • NO BATTERY NEEDED: Simply insert the meter into soil, wait few minutes, accurate test results will be displayed on the readout panel. No battery is needed.

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MySoil Soil Test Kit – Most Accurate

mysoil soil test kit review

Stop guessing and hoping the tester probes are working correctly with a MySoil Soil test. Order a test and a sample box will show up in your mailbox. Dig a few scoops of your yard and mail it back in a prepaid envelope.

After a week or so, you’ll get your exact soil nutrient levels of Nitrogen, Nitrate and ammonium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Iron, Manganese, Boron, Copper, Zinc, and Sodium. Everything you need to know how to treat your soil for growing the best lawn, garden, compost, trees, and all landscape media.

Bluelab 716441 Review – Combo Meter for Plant Germination

Bluelab 716441eview

This pH tester is specially designed for hydroponic farming. It is equipped to measure the pH, conductivity, and temperature, allowing you to make any adjustments and get your plants growing in optimal conditions.

Bluelab has designed this product to be lightweight and easily portable. Furthermore, it features a long probe cable of 6.5 feet. This makes it easy to stretch to test whatever reading you need in your hydroponic farm. 

The process of testing your soil isn’t complicated as the buttons are marked and simple to use. Along with this, the tester is equipped with an easy-to-read digital display. However, keep in mind that this meter is specifically designed to test water for hydroponic farming and can’t be used to test the soil.

Atree Soil 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit Review

Atree Soil 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kit review

This is a helpful tool for anyone who is looking to improve their garden and grow any type of flower or plant. It’s incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is insert the probes into the soil.

To get the most accurate reading, try to push it between four and six inches down into the ground. Simply flip the switch to what you want to read, whether that be pH, light, or moisture.

Don’t leave the meter in the soil for too long. Ten minutes is usually the right amount of time to ensure that you receive trusted results. Inaccurate results from lack of power are avoided as this is a battery-free meter. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about recharging the device, either.

Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit Review

Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit review

This product is precisely calibrated for pH level testing and is well thought-after for its ability to deliver quick and reliable results.

Garden Tutor’s test strips can test the soil with a pH range of between 3,5 and nine. They are far more accurate than universal test strips that aren’t explicitly designed to test pH levels. 

Added to this, the kit includes a 16-page handbook. The handbook mentions Sulphur and lime application charts that are based on the pH of your soil. The manual gives you advice on how to improve your pH levels and get your plants growing in optimal conditions.

The kit is extremely affordable when you consider how many tests you can perform. The process may be tedious; however, the instructions given are easy to follow. The entire process can be completed in about 20 minutes.

A Buying Guide For pH Meters

There are a variety of things that you should look for when picking a pH soil tester. Some of these factors are:

  • Size

A tester that is small and compact works when testing indoor plants and small plant tubes. However, having a small pH tester does not mean that it’s fragile. A compact-size tester should still be sturdy enough to be used in a big garden or on a farm. 

  • Waterproof

Having a waterproof pH tester is very important. This is because the probes need to go into the soil. If the tester isn’t waterproof, the probes can begin to rust from the moisture in the soil. Added to this, if the probes aren’t good quality, corrosion may be caused by testing.

  • Display

An electronic tester has a display with a dial and some markings. When buying a pH tester, it’s important to buy one that has clear markings. This makes it easier to understand and interpret the results. 

  • Durability

Electronic testers are designed with probes or rods which are to be inserted in the soil. This allows the device to detect the pH in the soil effectively. The device needs to ensure that the probes are built strong. This is because it is plunged into soil. Not having a well-built device can leave the probes or rods damaged by the elements of the soil, such as moisture. 

  • Versatility 

There are a few other vital tests that need to be done when checking the quality of your soil. These include the soil’s moisture levels and sunlight levels. Also, remember to check the accuracy of a soil test kit.

Having a soil pH tester that has the ability to the soil’s moisture and sunlight levels is an added benefit. Making use of a tester that is a 3-in-1 is a convenient way of checking your soil. You have one device that can do all three tests, rather than having one device for each test. 

soil testing

Knowing your soil’s moisture is very important as it tells you when you should water it. Dry soil is unhealthy for your plants and can cause plants to wilt or even die. That’s why testing your soil’s moisture levels is important when ensuring your plants grow in a suitable environment. 

Another factor that a plant can’t live without is sunlight. Sunlight plays a vital role in ensuring proper seed germination.

Not having enough sunlight penetrate through the soil can cause germination to not happen correctly. Without the right amount of sun penetration, new grass is unable to grow to its full potential. That is why it’s important to use a pH tester that also can test the sunlight levels of the soil. 

Therefore, to test the overall health of your soil, you need to test more than just the pH of it. Buying a tester that can perform all three tests is more convenient and more cost-effective than buying three separate devices for each test. 

How Do You Test the pH Level in Soil?

Testing the Soil pH Without A Kit

If you wish to test the soil’s pH level, you can simply add half a cup of vinegar to the desired patch of soil you are looking to test. If this results in the area bubbling and making a hissing sound, it shows that the soil is alkaline with a pH of between seven and eight. 

However, if it doesn’t bubble, pour distilled water over a different patch of soil until it’s muddy. After this, add half a cup of baking soda. Bubbling from this area proves that it’s acidic soil with a pH level of between five and six. 

Nonetheless, if both these experiments leave you with no bubbling, this indicates that your soil is neutral with a pH level of seven. 

Testing the Soil pH With A Test Probe

soil testing probe

Before attempting this test, start by digging a hole in the soil that’s about two inches deep. After doing this, fill the hole with distilled water until the soil is grubby. Place the clean test probe. Leave it in the hole for one minute. After this, take the probe and view the reading. 

You have neutral soil if the reading indicates a seven. However, a reading greater than seven proves that you’ve got basic soil. Your soil is acidic if your reading reveals a number that is less than seven. 

Nevertheless, taking a single test isn’t an accurate way to measure the pH level of your soil. Instead, we recommend that you repeat the test several times in different areas around your garden. After doing this, take the average of all the results to get the find pH level. 

Testing the Soil pH With Paper Test Strips

soil testing strips

Litmus paper is needed to perform this test. Mix approximately three tablespoons of soil with distilled water.

Take the litmus paper and dip it in the muddy soil solution for around 30 seconds. Take it out and clear the paper of any dirt, using distilled water to do so. The test kit provides a book of color codes to compare with the paper you have tested. 

Find the closest match of what color best reflects the result of the test you have done. The matching code indicates the pH level of the soil. 

How Do You Lower the Soil’s pH Level?

There are a few natural products you can use to lower your soil’s pH:

  • Sphagnum peat

Sphagnum peat is a great source of organic matter that can also be used as a fertilizer. Simply add one to two inches of peat. Make sure to thoroughly work the peat into the top of eight to 12 inches of soil. This ensures that it’s available for the roots before planting takes place. 

Using sphagnum peat is a great choice for gardens, potted plants, and flower beds. However, it can be expensive when using it for a big plot of land. 

Hoffman 15503 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, 10 Quarts
6,017 Reviews
Hoffman 15503 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, 10 Quarts
  • Canadian sphagnum peat Moss
  • Premium grade of horticultural, 99.8 percent organic
  • When mixed with soil, increases the soil's capacity to hold water and nutrients

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  • Granular sulfur 

Not only is this the safest way to lower the pH levels in your soil, but it’s also very inexpensive. However, it does take a while to start to work. In saying this, you shouldn’t apply more than two pounds for an area of 100 square feet, and you should refrain from reapplying too quickly. 

You need to wait a while before you start to see the results of this application. It’s recommended to wait around three months between each application. 

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  • Aluminum sulfate and iron sulfate 

These products work at a lot faster pace. The downside though, is that they need to be applied at a faster rate. It usually needs to be applied to the soil five to six times more often.  

With that being said, don’t apply more than five pounds for every 100 square feet of soil. Too much aluminum sulfate and iron sulfate can be harmful to your plants. 

Southern Ag Aluminum Sulfate (Acidifies Soil), 5 LB Size: 5 LB
198 Reviews
Southern Ag Aluminum Sulfate (Acidifies Soil), 5 LB Size: 5 LB
  • Helps lower the PH
  • Turns Hydrangea Blooms to Blue
  • Easy to use

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  • Fertilizer

Some ingredients included in fertilizers such as ammonia sulfate, ammonia nitrate, and urea can aid in making the soil more acidic. You don’t have to worry about applying too much as it’s safe to use. However, read the label to see if that particular fertilizer is acidifying. 

Earthborn Elements Ammonium Sulfate (1 Gallon), Soil Additive,...
246 Reviews
Earthborn Elements Ammonium Sulfate (1 Gallon), Soil Additive,...
  • Earthborn Elements Ammonium Sulfate should be used in a well-ventilated area

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How Do You Raise the Soil’s pH Level?

There is a variety of reasons why a low pH is caused. Before using a treatment to increase the pH of the soil, try eliminating the cause as this can correct the pH. 

Incorrect fertilization can result in this problem occurring, especially if the fertilizers are ammonium-based.

Along with this, high rainfall can result in high acidity as well as soil that contains a constant amount of decomposing organic matter. Moreover, native vegetation can cause problems as soils under forest vegetation tend to be more acidic.

If you fail to identify a cause for your soil having a low pH level, there are several ways in which you can raise the pH level of your soil:

  • Lime

Using lime to increase pH is very common, but there are a variety of ways to use it. Applying the lime directly to the surface only affects the soil’s top layer.

Rather mix the lime into the soil so that the entirety of it can receive the effects. Lime has low solubility. Therefore, you can’t depend on irrigation to mix the lime into the soil, so you need to do this manually.

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  • Potassium carbonate

Potassium carbonate is highly soluble. What’s great about using it is that it can be quickly and easily applied to the top layer of soil, and you can count on irrigation to distribute it further into the ground. The positive side of using potassium carbonate is that it rapidly increases the pH of the soil and is a great choice for soils that are consistently dropping in pH. 

Pure Original Ingredients Potassium Bicarbonate (1lb) Natural,...
524 Reviews
Pure Original Ingredients Potassium Bicarbonate (1lb) Natural,...
  • Pure Original Ingredients Potassium Bicarbonate Powder is made from a single ingredient, providing a pure undiluted supplement
  • Potassium Bicarbonate is a natural source of Potassium
  • Potassium is an electrolyte used in many body functions

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Wrap Up

The pH levels in soil play a huge role in how a plant grows. Its access to necessary nutrients is all dependent on pH.

To gain the best plants, you need the most optimal pH. You can only work towards achieving this particular pH when you know what the pH of your soil is to start with. That is why testing your soil is so important. It is easy to do and can be done with or without professional equipment. 

Sources: Perdue Turfgrass Science Program

2 thoughts on “Best Soil pH Tester Kits Reviews – 2021 Edition”

  1. Sorry for my confusion, but I’m assuming you recommending all of these, if so, are they in order of “most’ to “least” recommended?


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