How test water pH?

Rick7072(6b)November 27, 2012

I had an experienced indoor gardener do a house call at my house last night to look at my setup and to investigate the cause of the problems I've been having, especially to figure out why so many of my basil leaves are gnarled and curled up, some even looking like they've been eaten. Even though I do have a fungus gnat problem, he says gnats wouldn't cause the basil to look like that.

In addition to the gnat problem he did see a minor problem with white flies and soil mites which he recommends treating with Neem oil. But he thinks that the reason the basil looks so deformed (the gnarled leaves are also starting on my arugula seedlings) may be from water that is too alkaline. That causes the plant to be unable to take up the nutrients that I am providing in the water and it gets weakened, susceptible to pests and and the leaves deformed.

He said the first order of business should be to test the pH in the water. I know there are various meters and kits, so I phoned my local gardening supply store and they say the one they recommend is from Blue Lab Corporation and costs $110! He says the lesser ones, for $45, are not good quality and typically only last 3 months.

How have other folks had the pH of their water tested? I was not planning to spend $110. Thanks for any advice.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Call your local water provider and ask them what the pH is. They might have a web site with that information on it. Unless you get your water from a well, there is no reason to go to the expense of having it tested yourself.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 5:29PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

pH tests, simple acid or base testing as done in many science classes, is done with inexpensive litmus paper. If you can't get the info any place else, look for a simple litmus kit.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:38AM
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