Best Soil Testing Kits
- Tests sunlight, soil moisture, soil pH, and soil temperature
- Fast readings – just insert into the soil
- Readings displayed on LED
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
One of the biggest challenges with these types of kits is understanding how to use them and measure the results. This kit has no such problem, being one of the best soil testing kit for new users as it clearly displays all the information you need to know on a small LED screen.
Moreover, you only need to insert the tester probe into the soil for it to work. Results show in a matter of seconds, so you can easily walk around the garden and use the kit directly in the soil. Of course, you are more likely to get accurate results by digging samples and sieving out any stones and roots.
The screen comes with a bright backlight and large display, clearly indicating what the reading is, with four different readings available. This includes sunlight exposure, soil moisture, soil pH, and soil temperature, giving a clear idea of the overall condition of the soil and its suitability for growing.
Moisture levels have five readings, ranging from dry plus to wet plus, sunlight levels have 9 readings from high to low, while pH range tests from 3.5 to 9. This gives plenty of information about soil composition, allowing for more successful growing.
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Dr.meter Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
- Tests moisture levels
- 10 reading levels
- Easy to understand dial readings
- Simple to use – just place into soil
- Doesn’t need batteries or electricity
While there are many sophisticated kits that test numerous variables of soil composition, sometimes you only need to test one thing – moisture levels. This is because many people struggle to know when the best time is to water their indoor and outdoor plants, which is where a device like this one helps.
This is one of the best moisture testing kits on the market. Simple to use, just insert the 8-inch probe into the soil and wait a moment to receive the moisture level reading. All info is shown on a dial, which has a one to ten scale for measuring the moisture level in any soil.
The ten range offers a clear idea of what the moisture level is and how suitable it is for common plant types.
For example, any reading in the 1-3 range is considered dry to slightly moist, being suitable for mostly cacti and broad leaved plants. Readings between 4-7 are considered slightly moist to moist, and the 8-10 range are very moist.
With this info you know exactly how moist the soil is for most plant types. If it is too dry for that plant, you then know it is time to water it. This basically removes all the guesswork trying to determine when to water a plant!
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Toulifly Soil Test Kit
- Liquid testing kit – mix soil with water then submerge the test strip
- Includes 100 strips
- Accurate pH readings
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor soil
When it comes to measuring pH levels of soil, some kits are much more accurate than others, such as this impressive kit from Toulifly. A liquid testing kit, it works by combining soil and water, after which you place one of the pH test strips into the sample.
Results are almost immediate, with the strip changing colours according to the pH level of the soil. Once there are colours on the strip, you simply refer to the colour chart included with the kit to determine the pH composition of the soil.
The colour chart offers a wide range of pH references, more so than most other testing kits, so if you are looking for an accurate picture of soil pH levels this is certainly a kit worth consideration. You also get 100 strips included, allowing for a high volume of testing for both indoor and outdoor soil.
It could be easier to use either. Simply take a small amount of soil, mix with some water, and then submerge the strip for a few seconds, then compare the colour to the reference chart.
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KETOTEK Soil Test Kit for pH Moisture
- Probe kit – just insert directly into soil
- Tests soil moisture, soil pH, sunlight, and temperature
- LED screen display for readings
Another versatile testing kit, this probe tester is one of the easiest to use and provides a wide range of readings including soil moisture, pH level, sunlight, and temperature. This paints a highly accurate picture of soil composition, with results taking around 10 minutes.
As a probe tester it is straight-forward to use, simply insert it several inches into the soil sample. When testing pH simply push the pH button on at the back of the device, insert into soil and wait for the reading. There are a whopping 12 readings available, more than most other kits on the market.
You can also switch between measuring moisture, light intensity, and temperature. Simply push the appropriate button on the device, insert into the sample, and then wait for the reading. You get highly accurate measurements for each, with five readings for moisture levels, 9 levels for light intensity, and temperature range from -9°C to +50°C
This helps you get a clear indicator of overall soil composition, making it easy to understand when the plants need watered, whether the pH needs altered, and if they are getting enough warmth and sunlight for healthy growth.
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Pancellent Soil Test Kit
- Probe testing kit
- Tests soil moisture, pH value, and sunlight
- Includes 9 piece bonsai tools
This versatile kit not only includes a probing device for measuring the soil composition but also a nine piece bonsai tool kit. The kit includes small tools for digging, pruning, transferring etc., making it a great option for anyone seeking additional gardening tools.
The tester itself offers three different readings, measuring the pH value, soil moisture, and sunlight exposure. As a probe kit you just insert the metal rod several inches into the soil sample, with readings displayed on a dial readout scale after a few minutes in the soil.
Readings are highly detailed, with a moisture range of 1-10, light intensity measured between 0-2000 lux, and a pH range between 3.5-8, giving you detailed data on the exact composition of the soil. Everything is clearly displayed on the readout scale, with the device being incredibly accurate.
Given the various readings, this is a versatile tester as you can use it for indoor and outdoor soil, being suitable for everything from house plants to vegetable gardens to flower beds.
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Sonkir Soil pH Meter
- Probe testing kit
- Tests soil pH, moisture, and light
- Double needle detection for improved accuracy
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
This probe tester kit is a great option for anyone that wants to know the best time to water their plants. Not only does it measure the moisture level of the soil to determine whether it needs watered, but it also measured both the pH value and sunlight level of the soil too.
With all this info you should know the perfect time to water plants, whether they need to be moved, and if outdoor soil is suitable for growing in. The probe inserts easily into any soil sample you wish to test, taking about ten minutes to provide an accurate reading.
The information is displayed using double needle detection technology, helping to increase the speed and accuracy of each reading. It also comes with an enlarged scale space for easier readings, something that many probe kits struggle with as their scales are too close together to get a truly accurate reading.
Using it couldn’t be easier either. Just select one of the three readings you want to measure, stick the probe into the soil, and wait for the dial to move.
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ZhongYe 4-in-1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter
- Probe kit
- Tests soil pH value, sunlight intensity, moisture, and temperature
- Backlit LED display screen
This 4-in-1 tester is suitable for more experienced gardeners that want to determine the exact composition of their soil for planting purposes. Capable of testing soil pH value, sunlight intensity, soil moisture, and soil temperature, this device gives one of the most detailed breakdowns of soil composition.
Simply insert the probe into the soil and leave it for about 5-10 minutes. Measurements are given based on the setting you choose, with four buttons at the side of the device for each of the four readings. You can easily switch between each one, testing everything in the soil in one go for added convenience.
The readouts are displayed on a backlit LED screen, giving a clear indicator of each specific reading. Each one comes with an impressive testing range too, with 9 options for sunlight levels, 5 moisture levels, a pH range from 3.5 to 9 and a temperature range from 5°C to 40°C
Simply put, this a comprehensive testing kit that gives you all the information you need to grow the heathiest plants possible.
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What is a Soil Test Kit?
As the name suggests, a soil test kit is a product used to test the composition of soil found in the garden. While there are many types of kit that perform varying functions, the most common is a pH testing kit, which measures the acidity of the soil along with other properties found within.
Another common type of kit is used to determine the various components found within the soil. This allows the user to identify the volume of key nutrients needed for healthy growing soil including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Finally, there are kits that are used to test the moisture levels within the soil. While less commonly used, these are an essential product for growing certain types of plants that have strict watering requirements.
What are the Benefits of a Soil Test Kit?
So, why exactly do you need to know so much about soil? Well, anyone that loves gardening certainly benefits from knowing more about the soil they plan on growing with, as its condition will determine what you can grow.
For example, if soil is missing an essential nutrient then it makes growing plants more challenging. Soil has three key nutrients – potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen – and an imbalance of these may inhibit plant growth.
With the right balance of nutrients, plants in your garden are healthier and grow more vigorously. Fruits are larger, flowers more colourful, and the overall health of the plant remains high throughout growing season.
So, by using one of these kits you can test the condition of your garden soil to determine its suitability for growing. If something is missing, you can then treat the soil to restore its nutritional balance, be it phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, or even just more moisture.
Moreover, using one of these kits is surprisingly easy. You don’t need to be an expert in biology to understand how to use one, and the results are fast and incredibly accurate when using the best soil testing kits.
This saves the hassle of using guesswork when trying to grow in your garden. Most garden soil needs a bit of tinkering to make it perfect for growing, and these kits allow you to determine exactly what is needed before you start growing anything, saving yourself time and money.
How to Use a Soil Test Kit
How kits test the soil differs depending on the product. Some involve little preparation while others require more setup before testing, although each is still simple enough to use, especially as they all come with clear instructions.
Here is a general step by step guide for how to test garden soil:
Get Your Supplies
Beyond buying the testing kit there are some other supplies you will want to use when testing the soil. These include:
- Trowel for digging some soil
- Container to hold a soil sample
- Distilled water if using a kit that requires you to mix a few substances together – any bottled water should be fine
Decide Where You are Taking Samples From
You may want to test one or several samples of soil depending on what you are measuring in the soil and what you plan on growing. In fact, it is a good idea to get samples from several areas you plan on growing in – and even some spots you have not planned on growing in yet – as this helps give a clearer idea of the overall soil composition throughout your garden.
Take Your Soil Samples
Now it is time to dig up some soil samples for testing. Grab your trowel and dig deeper than you normally would for planting, roughly around six inches but deeper if possible. You want some deep soil as this provides more accurate information on soil composition compared to the upper layers of soil, which are misleading due to being topsoil.
Also, take a healthy sample of soil, especially if soil is mixed with a lot stones, roots, and other material. Take more than you think you need and you should be fine.
Once the samples are gathered it is time to start testing. Again, steps may vary depending on what you are testing the soil for. Here is a quick overview for each type of testing:
Moisture Levels: When testing moisture levels it is important that you test the sample as quickly as possible. Leaving soil out for too long causes it to dry, leading to less accurate readings, so test it immediately after gathering the sample.
Liquid Testing Kits: These kits require a different approach to testing by adding liquid to the soil sample. Most of these kits require you to add the liquid to the soil and then shake or mix it all together. Leave it for about ten minutes and the colour should have changed, with different colours indicating the levels of each substance in the soil.
Powder/Capsule Testing Kits: This type uses a similar method to liquid kits, with the main difference being you combine a powder or capsule with the soil sample instead of a liquid. Again, leave for the designated time and then check the colours to determine the soil composition.
Reviewing Your Results
Always closely follow manufacturer instructions when reviewing the results of the soil test, as even waiting just a few minutes longer can drastically change the results of the test. For example, liquid and powder kits must be checked within the stated time frame – if left too long the colours further change – causing inaccurate composition measurements.
Therefore, you want to review the results as quickly as possible. You may also want to have a few samples side-by-side to reference the different colours and the rate in which they change.
There are some kits that are easier to read, with many featuring a small dial that tells composition on the device, while others include a reference chart for comparing the colours. Always reference the referral chart on your soil kit to make sure you know what each colour is measuring if it is included with the kit.
You may even find some testing requires you to send the soil for professional analysis. While less convenient and more expensive, these kits are some of the most accurate. For most kits used at home, simply follow the guidelines to ensure you accurately measure the readings.
Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API