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electronic soil meter/analyzer

Posted by leaningoakranch 8 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 28, 07 at 23:49

Do these things really work? I have seen these things online for awhile now. I am fairly new to gardening and have recently used the test kits with the little flask things that you shake with dirt in them to find out your ph and available nutrients. I also sent my soil into the local extension office and had a basic free test done. The results from the lab were pretty much on par with the little tube test, albeit slightly more detailed. I tried soil samples in several locations of my property for each of those and results were almost identical.
I thought that purchasing one of the electronic 3-in-1 units would be more cost efficient and no waiting for results versus the two methods I previously mentioned, and it would allow me to monitor my soils characteristics each and every day if I so desired, or while I am adding amendments to my soil as needed. Can I get opinions from other people who have owned these and let me know if they are worth the money, or just a waste of it? I would be getting a ferry-morse or rapitest model. I would consider others as well if anyone has suggestions.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: electronic soil meter/analyzer

I never had a gadget that did what it was labeled to do so I gave up. Perhaps something new in the last 10 years will work.

I have used them "off label" e.g. stick any one of them in the soil and if the meter does not wiggle you need more moisture.

RE: electronic soil meter/analyzer

It is useful to bear in mind that the pH scale is logarithmic - pH 5.0 is ten times more acid than pH 6.0. Where precision is required e.g. a pH of 5.5 in a load of potting soil for a particular plant, then such an instrument should not be used. However, if I wish to find out the pH of the lawn when I am about to do a major renovation it, it might do quite nicely.

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