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Old February 27, 2018   #1
Tiny Tim
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Default Soil pH meter question

Any suggestions for a reliable soil pH probe that doesn't cost a lot.
I did get the Burpee meter last year, here were my results.

It only reads 7.5 for every sample I've checked so far. Fox Farms Ocean Forest 7.5 pH. My compost pile 7.5 pH. My garden soil 7.5 pH. The coco coir starter mix I make 7.5 pH They all start out higher. But, all end up at 7.5.

I can measure nutrients going into my plants in coco coir at 6.2 and the runoff is 6.1 very close with my APERA liquid pH meter. But, that Burpee meter stuck in the same coco coir measures 7.5 pH.

BTW, the meter is in the pH measuring mode in all examples above. So, out with the old and in with the hopefully accurate new..
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Old February 28, 2018   #2
cjp1953
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Could you just take some samples to your local county lab for testing?Last time I got the PH tested was when I had my soil tested from Penn.State.It was a kit I bought at a local feed and supply store.Had to send it off to Penn.State,got complete results and recommendations.Not a big fan of Burpee products.But that's just me.
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Old February 28, 2018   #3
brownrexx
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Those store bought pH meters are not going to be accurate, no matter which brand that you buy.

I worked in a chemistry laboratory for 20 years and our pH meter was calibrated twice a day with standard solutions to ensure accuracy.

I would not waste my money on the store bought kind. Send a sample to a laboratory.
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Old March 1, 2018   #4
Tiny Tim
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Thank you both for your advice. I could send off a sample to our local lab. I'm more interested in being in the will grow ball park. I would assume many manufactures could meet a reasonable range. Either Burpee is not one of them or I have a defective meter. I never have issue's growing in coco coir using liquid nutrients. I have 2 cheap meters and one better meter and they are very reliable for liquid. I guess I'll resort to testing runoff using distilled water. Thanks again..
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Old March 1, 2018   #5
Gin3ll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Those store bought pH meters are not going to be accurate, no matter which brand that you buy.

I worked in a chemistry laboratory for 20 years and our pH meter was calibrated twice a day with standard solutions to ensure accuracy.

I would not waste my money on the store bought kind. Send a sample to a laboratory.
He's perfectly right. If you want a pH value read properly, a laboratory is your answer. (I'm a Biochemical Engineer)
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Old March 1, 2018   #6
zipcode
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I use pH paper, the kind that goes from about 4.5 to 9, so more in the middle. I checked it against the lab meter and various things, and I find it perfectly reliable. Now if you wanted hydroponics where you want to be super accurate, maybe it's not ideal, but for soil it's enough.
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Old March 1, 2018   #7
Tiny Tim
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Thanks again everyone. zipcode, I do grow in coco coir year round and keeping my pH with in the range required is very easy using my consumer grade meters. I have 2 that cost less than $20 each and they are very close to my APERA pH meter. I was also thinking about the pH paper you mentioned zipcode. But, I get very good results with my current meters. The paper kits sold by our cooperative extension are very expensive. You must be checking soil runoff with the paper then. That's what I'll do to ball park my pH as well. This is for soil I'm building to fill 12-15 containers for a deck vegetable garden. I've NEVER checked SOIL pH before as this is my first container garden outdoors.
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