Soil pH meters

The pour through method is the best method and you don’t really need distilled water just ph to 7.0 let it flush out for a bit and then collect a shot glass or more worth of water. You can also do the 1 part soil 2 parts distilled water to get a ph / ec reading.

The cheapest accurate soil ph meter is 200ish.

That is true of many cannabis growers, but there are twice as many silly/superstitious idiots as there are competent cannabis growers.


I have the same problem. This is the one we have. Always goes to 7. Does anyone know of a better one?

The troublesome pH meters are designed to work in bagged soil products and not naturally occurring soils containing clay. Further, they utilize a cheap magnet to measure pH and it degrades over time causing all measurements to drift towards 7.

Also keep in mind that many pH meters on the market are designed for liquids and not soils. The latter requires a different type of instrument.

I like inexpensive but I won’t do cheap. Agricultural soil laboratories are the same way. Hanna makes the following soil pH meters for those who are interested:


I have a Bluelab ph soil pen/probe that can read ph in the soil and solution. I have tested it with multiple ph strip…cheap ph probe…etc and it is quite accurate. Quite pricey at almost 200 dollars but worth it if u grow a lot of blueberries and want to know the ph of the soil in ground or container quite fast and readily.


I bought a cheap pH meter at a big box store and checked its accuracy in a dilute vinegar solution with a calculated pH. It was pretty close, and I figured that I could correct the readings for the difference. I don’t need great accuracy because I’m mainly adjusting the soil in my blueberry beds with added sulfur.

I quickly found that the meter doesn’t work very well when just inserted into my sandy/rocky soil; so, I tried mixing soil with water in a container for the reading. However, that is a pain for many measurements. Now, I’m taking readings by poking a hole into the soil, adding water to fill the hole, stirring the soil and water a bit to make a slurry, and then taking a reading by poking the probe into the slurry. This seems to work pretty well, but I haven’t checked the accuracy of the measurements lately.

I wasn’t aware that these cheap meters lose accuracy with age, as mentioned above; so, I’ll buy another one for a comparison.

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My experience with the cheap ones has been bad. The expensive ones look OK, but they have consumables.

The most cost-effective solution is still ph strips.

Someone here the other day suggested that you could stick the strips in the ground, pour a little distilled water on it and go by that number. I tried it. It worked.

I got one that looks like a large cone. You can’t use it in hard soil. It matched fairly closely with values I got from a soil test as well as when I did a strip test, so I’ve been trusting it so far. I have read that these go bad eventually, but it’s very convenient when I want to test dozens of trees in the winter.

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I have had the same experience. It fairly well matches a soil test.

Yes, muddy soil gives more dependable readings…even so, accuracy is in doubt many times.
But, if you’re only interested in ‘getting close’ like in the game of Horseshoes, you might get by on the cheap meter.