best way to test soil ph? Need help ASAP please!

Discussion in 'Sick Plants and Problems' started by stickydankness, May 25, 2010.

  1. What is the best method to test soil ph using a Hanna meter? I've been just taking a little bit of the soil out of the pot and then mixing a little neutral water (ph 7.00) into it in a cup then putting the probe into the slurry of soil. I feel like there may be more accurate ways of measuring ph than the way I'm doing so please tell me your method or how I could improve my method of testing.

    Also, when correcting your soils Ph, should you make the water ( using R.O filter) the Ph you'd like your soil to be? or past what you want it to be so it gets to your desired Ph faster? For example: If my soils Ph is 7.4 (too high i know, just an example), should I add ph down to my water until its 6.5-6.8 or go past that to like 6.2 to correct the problem faster?

    Thanks for all your help in advance, I fear I may have a ph problem so speedy replies are greatly appreciated!
  2. You test the runoff with it after you water.

    Should have just bought a soil pH tester, they're 1/5th of the price.

    Water with water that's 6.8-7. Proper soil will buffer it down to 6.5-6.8 and you'll be golden.
  3. The method you are using is pretty close, you want to mix {soil:water} in a {1:5} ratio and let it sit for a few minutes, at least 15 but 30 minutes or more is better, then measure.

    A much easier way is to pour some distilled/RO water in your plant and grab some runoff and measure it. Let a few ounces drain off first then get a sample. This will give you a decent reading of the soil ph (not exact, but good enough). You want this in the 6.5-7.0 range.

    If it's lower than 6.5 you may want to flush if it's an established plant - you may have nutrient salt buildup.

    When you feed your plants, check the ph of the nute solution after it's mixed and before you pour into the soil. Nutes will lower your water ph, so you'll need to keep an eye on it and adjust if needed (try to start off at 7.0). Measure the runoff and see if it's in the 6.5-7.0 range. If not, then adjust your nutes higher or lower on the next feeding and check again. Keep doing this until you have it dialed in :cool: You'll never get it exact, you just want to be sure you are in range.

    You can also adjust soil ph by using some amendments before you plant (like limestone, cottonseed meal, etc.), or you can flush with ph'd water. The ph will swing it a bit so check runoff after each gallon. I don't recommend this unless you are flushing for real.

    Amendments are your best friend IMO. Dolomite limestone is a great additive, it normally raises ph just a bit but will work as a buffer also to keep it in range (handy if your water is off or if you have some buildup). Peat, coco, compost all lower the ph and do wonders for the soil, they help keep it in range also.

    PH can be a pain in the ass, but it is essential to have it proper and well worth the effort.

    Hope this helps!
  4. Nice call...Best I seen explained...:cool:
  5. Thanks man! Explained everything I needed to know, I'd rep you if mine was worth a damn lol...

  6. great post i just had a runoff of 7.33 ph because of adding ss mix no.4 on top of my bx primere so i lowered the water little by little till i was putting in water at 3.92 and it was comming out at 6.47 im sure it will ris alittle from the lime so i sude be good now right only thing wrong with my plants was a ph flux
  7. Usually you don't have a high ph in soil? The soils like fox farm the problem is low ph cuz when the pee moss or whatever in there. When it stay wet like from watering it to often and not letting it dry out. The stuff in the soil breaks down from being constantly saturated with water and turns acidity! :hello: Which in turns lowers the ph? I've had the same problem so instead of trying to correct the ph I'm going to try not to water for as long as I can each time. Save watering's and nutrients but I can't add nutrients till I water that sucks cuz like now they could use the nutrients but they don't need water but I'm still waiting till they need the water cuz it will damage the roots and mess up the ph of the dirt!
  8. you could always foliar feed too when not wanting water if they need food just follow the directions on the bottle:wave::D

  9. Ya know, with the addition of some dolomite lime to your mix, all that would would be fixed.

    So simple.


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