Any plant parent would want the best for their plants because, after all, we all love to see our gardens bloom and thrive. While we get the best fertilizer, the best weed killer, or the best gardening tools, only a few of us think about getting the best garden soil testers. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t understand what was causing my plants to die. I provided them with everything they could possibly need to flourish, so why were they dying?
It’s simple. A couple of weeks ago, I made a batch of DIY weed killer using salt, baking soda, and vinegar to get rid of weeds, but what I didn’t realize is that the soil I was using for my plants was still fresh with salt. Too much salt in the soil can burn your new plant’s roots, and it is especially true for seedlings. That’s when I realized that I needed the best garden soil testers so I can test the soil before planting or transplanting my plants. Not only do garden soil testers help you check your soil’s moisture and pH levels, but they also help you understand how much sunlight your plants are receiving.
While it is almost essential for everyone to test their garden or crop soil, in most cases, testing your soil is only needed when your plants are not thriving within your plots. Knowing the deficiencies within your soil will allow you to replace any nutrients your soil needs, and will ensure that your plant life is plush and well taken care of.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Garden Soil Testers in 2022
|Atree Soil pH Meter||Check The Price!|
|Luster Leaf 1662 Professional Soil Kit||Check The Price!|
|Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit||Check The Price!|
|Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit||Check The Price!|
|Bluelab PENSOILPH Soil pH Pen||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
We understand that the building blocks for all of life begin and end with quality soil. “Know before you grow” is built within our passion for gardening, and extends past the traditional elements of yesteryear where planting seeds and simply watering them was the breadth of adequate gardening. As the times have evolved, we have evolved with them, and we fully understand that the best garden soil testers will result in high-quality soil, and will ultimately lead to a superior growing experience.
In fact, it can be the difference between an immaculately growing season in comparison to an underwhelmed one. Knowing where the best soil in your garden lies is key when looking to start a plot of your own plant life. So our primary goal is to assist the gardeners who go out of their way to obtain premium seeds and understand the importance of water filtration and fertilization, to find the best garden soil testers available.
While recreational gardeners are also welcome to the products we will be sharing with you today, and the information we provide in general, we seek to pass our in-depth knowledge and tenure to all who seek to turn their normal gardens into exceptional pieces of nature.
Why We Like It: The Atree Soil pH Meter is a 3-in-1 functioning soil tester that is perfect for small to medium-sized gardening projects. It is great for testing the pH value of the spoil as well as the sunlight intensity the soil receives throughout the day. By inserting the probes into the ground about 5 inches below the surface, you can rest assured that the Atree Soil pH Meter will give you a very accurate reading. It is compact enough to slip into a pocket for everyday use, and will never need a battery or an outside power source. We chose the Atree Soil pH Meter for our list because it is an inexpensive product to learn about soil with. Some of the other more expensive products will demand the user be somewhat knowledgeable of soil properties, while the Atree Soil pH Meter simply completes the bare essential tasks.
Who Should Buy It: We would recommend this product to anyone just starting out as a gardener, or who has smaller plots in their yards that don’t need an extreme amount of analytic data to grow.
Why We Like It: The Luster Leaf 1662 Professional Soil Kit is one of the best products on the market for both usefulness and accurate soil readings. Inside of the package, you will find 40 different tests with 10 tests attributed to pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You will also find a sturdy case to go with the tests to keep them safe when not being used, as well as a few tips for not only how to use them but also how to enhance your garden as a whole. We picked the Luster Leaf 1662 Professional Soil Kit because it performs its functions exceptionally well and is a great addition to a gardener’s repertoire. It also comes with an abundance of testers which will last throughout the entire growing season.
Who Should Buy It: The Luster Leaf 1662 Professional Soil Kit is perfect for anyone who is looking for a range of different soil properties. While the readings on the test are highly accurate, the tenured gardener will benefit from the kit as long as they can pair it with a digital tester that reads soil moisture and sunlight exposure. Definitely a product for someone who is knowledgeable about fertilizer as well.
Why We Like It: The Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit is at the top of its class when it comes to technological advances in the soil testing sphere. Essentially, it reads levels within the soil using LED digital technology and gives gardeners a very accurate reading of their soil. It includes pH preferences for over 450 different species of plants so that you can know exactly what levels are ideal for your range of plant life. We chose the Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit because it not only tests the soil but also is very specific when recommending the right nutrient levels in certain plants.
Who Should Buy It: This product is ideal for anyone looking to evolve their gardening experience in the direction of future technology.
Best for Crops
Why We Like It: The Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit is a farmer’s best friend, as it is meant to render a highly professional crop testing experience. Not only is it easy to use, but it is renowned as one of the few soil testing kits that will ensure the most successful food plots possible. We chose the Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit because it is a well-rounded product that is beneficial for the more serious farmers and crop growers. Most products are geared specifically for recreational gardeners/growers, and the Whitetail Institute Laboratory Soil Test Kit separates itself from the pack.
Who Should Buy It: This product is perfect for the more serious farmers who have many crops growing every season. The fact that you can send your soil to a professional facility allows you to get extremely precise results for large plots of land.
Best for Precision
Why We Like It: The Bluelab PENSOILPH Soil pH Pen is the crème de la crème when it comes to testing your plot’s soil. Not only does this product measure the temperature and pH of your soil, but is multifunctional for a variety of your gardening or crop-based needs. It prides itself on being far more accurate than the normal test strips and provides those accurate readings instantly. We chose this product because it is a godsend for both the average and experienced user. While we wouldn’t recommend it for someone just starting out on their journey through soil, it is definitely a product that anyone can work their way up to, and should be recognized as the optimal product that it is.
Who Should Buy It: The Bluelab PENSOILPH Soil pH Pen is ideal for the truly knowledgeable gardener or farmer, as the specifications are widely provided for the user. It is also perfect for anyone who is looking for a versatile pH reader, as there are many substances this device is made for.
What to Consider Before Picking the Best Garden Soil Tester
- Silt Soil: You will benefit immensely by adding in some organic matter (like mulch or coconut husk) in order to help decrease the amount of water within the soil.
- Loamy Soil: A gardener’s best friend, as it drains perfectly on most days but will not compact on itself once the soil is dry.
- Clay Soil: Also a great medium to grow plants in, as it is typically packed full of nutritional value. However, make sure to amend the soil with organic matter, as clay can become very hard, which will hinder your plant’s roots from pushing deeper into the soil.
- Sandy Soil: (which is considered better than clay soil by most) will definitely drain better than most other soil types, but will also demand organic matter to be able to hold moisture in.
- Strips: The simplest form of soil testing and are perfect for determining the acidity and alkalinity levels within the soil.
- Analog: These tests are typically used to test soil for the amount of moisture within it as well as pH levels, and sometimes will have an option to test the quality of sunlight a specific plot of soil is receiving throughout the day.
- Digital: Similar to the Analog soil tests, digital soil tests are inserted into the ground and use technologically advanced components to give adequate soil analysis.
- Chemical: Chemical soil tests come with an extra step before the soil can be tested properly. By adding in a chemical component known as a reagent, the soil can be sampled to determine its overall health and NPK density.
- Professional: Known as the most reliable (and costly) option of all test types, professional tests require the soil to be sent to a private facility in order to analyze the nutritional value of your soil.
The cornerstone of quality soil relies on the NPK content within the soil. Different types of fertilizers have specific concentrates of these macronutrients, and after properly testing your soil, you can administer the proper amount to combat any deficiencies you find in your test results.
Certain plant types may require what are called trace minerals (such as manganese, iron, or copper), and proper identification of your soil’s deficiencies are essential for optimal plant health and growth.
The pH scale operates on a 0 to 14 balance, with 7 being considered the neutral zone. The majority of plant life prefers a slightly acidic soil type, but it is best to understand each specific plant’s preference before adding in any specific compounds.
In the same way our bodies work best at a specific temperature, plants also have certain temperatures they need for optimal performance. Deciding how cool or warm a climate should be (especially in spaces you can control the climate, i.e. greenhouses) will determine at what point in the year you can start growing your plants and crops.
Almost a no-brainer when it comes to tending to your plants. Understanding the right amount of light exposure each specific plot needs is critical when trying to decide where certain plants need to be seeded.
Generally speaking, when the soil is draining well, plants are very happy. The same goes for when the soil is holding an adequate amount of water. The balance between dry and wet is an important ratio when considering which soil type is best for your plants.
Each soil kit will have its own level of accuracy that needs to be accounted for. The quality and composition of different plots of soil will have a range of possible readings depending on the nature of its soil. Some tests are better at analyzing different aspects of soil, so it is best to either understand your soil wholeheartedly or simply rely on professional testing facilities to give you the most accurate readings possible.
Speed of Results
Similar to the accuracy of a test, the speed at which you will be able to analyze your garden will depend on the testing strip you choose for your soil. Most recreational testing kits will provide you with results instantly or within seconds, while other options like chemical tests or facility-based tests may take hours or even days to get a proper response. As a rule of thumb, testing strips and digital testers will have the fastest results, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be as accurate as possible. It may be in your best interest to learn how to use the more accurate options, but always remember, patience is a virtue!
Ease of Use
Test kits that come in the form of strips or probes are by far the most user-friendly options on the market. By simply sticking them a few inches into the ground, you can garner pretty accurate results in a short span of time. However, chemical kits are a little more complex, to which you have to administer a prescribed amount of reagent to the soil first (which involves mixing chemicals together) before conducting the actual nutrient test.
How We Picked
We picked our list of the best garden soil testers through a few factors. We wanted to be able to list the most premium options within specific price ranges. While speed and accuracy are the bread-and-butter of soil testing kits, it was important for us to maintain a balance for both the inexperienced gardener and the tenured farmer or crop grower. The options we selected hold a wide variety of different choices you can make, and we hope that if you are starting off simply with test strips, you might consider learning more about the other options if your specific gardening project calls for it.
Our Pick of the Best Garden Soil Testers In 2022
When all is said and done, you will be the master of your soil’s destiny with the Bluelab PENSOILPH Soil pH Pen. This is a gardener’s most invaluable tool for both soil and coco. The best garden soil testers are subjective, to say the least, but are an essential part of maintaining your plants. Be sure to do your due diligence in regards to learning more about the intricacies that make up soil and how to measure those intricacies properly. Great soil will always equate to great plants, and we hope we have been able to provide some new information to help you along with your gardening journey!