It is always nice to see plants in your yard or in a park. But how can you help them thrive and stay healthy? Whether you like flowers or are growing vegetables, you probably want them to look or taste good.
Besides watering them, you should also take care of the ph of your soil, as that will guarantee your plant is getting all the nutrients it needs. Having a healthy plant means you will have a successful crop.
In this article, you can learn about what is Soil Meter, but first let’s see what is Soil, PH, and factors that affect it.
What is Soil?
Simply said, the soil is the surface layer of the Earth that is responsible for the plant growth. Together with water and air, it represents major natural resources that people use for multiple purposes.
It has three key components:
- Inorganic– This part is full of minerals that help the plants grow. They are created from rocks that break down over time. However, we don’t have just minerals here. There are also liquids (water) and gasses (air)
- Organic-Her you can find all the remains of animals, plants, and humans.
- Microorganisms– It is hard to see them without a microscope but they do an important job of breaking down all the materials into the soil.
What is pH?
pH is a measurement that informs on acidic or basic levels of a certain substance. In other words, it measures the amount of positively and negatively charged hydrogen atoms that carry electricity, enabling water conductivity.
When there is a higher concentration of hydrogen ions, the sample is more acidic. In the opposite case, the sample is more basic. pH can have a value between 0 and 14. Acidic substances have values between 0 and 7, while basic values can be between 7 and 14, making the value 7 a neutral pH level.
When you think about which substances are acidic or basic, just look at those that you are using every day. Baking soda and gin are common basic products, while orange juice and black coffee are examples of acidic items. The only substance that has neutral pH is pure water.
How testing pH improves your crop yield?
To have the optimal plant growth you should check your ph soil that informs your what plants suit best for your soil. Appropriate pH soil level maximizes plant growth, therefore your crop yields as well. With good soil ph plants can freely absorb necessary nutrients.
Similarly, by testing pH you can determine if your soil needs supplements such as fertilizers or adjustments that also help the plant to stay healthy.
Optimal Soil pH Values
Natural soil mostly has a pH that ranges between 4 and 8. Some plant thrive in more acidic soil such as apple trees (pH 5 – pH 6.5), potatoes (pH 4.5 – pH 6), and orchids (pH 4.5 – pH 5.5), while those that like basic soil more are acacia and walnut trees (they both like soil between pH 6 – pH 8).
You need to check if your soil is suitable for the plants you are planning to grow. Because if it doesn’t have the right pH, your efforts won’t pay off.
Factors That Affect Soil pH
There are many things that have an impact on your soil pH. However, the 6 major factors are affecting your plant growth.
● Climate and Weather– Different temperature, precipitation, sunlight, and seasonal weather significantly change the soil pH. For example, high perception can wash essential nutrients out such a basic calcium carbonate, making the soil more acidic.
● Plants– Local ecology and native plants determine the starting pH of the soil.
● Irrigation Water– If your water used for irrigation has different pH than your soil, it will change the soil pH.
● Soil Type- Depending on the area your soil belongs, you will have certain soil pH. If it has more shale, it will be more acidic. And if there are more limestones, it will be more basic.
● Fertilizer– Before choosing a fertilizer you are going to use, you should first check your soil pH as it affects the ability of the plants to absorb nutrients. Different availability requires different fertilizer.
● Nutrient Availability– In cases when the pH is too low or too high, plants can’t absorb nutrients.
How to Test Soil pH
Today, there are multiple technical advancements that will help you test your soil pH efficiently and easily like no one before. There are various Soil pH Testers and each of them has its benefits and disadvantages.
You have at your disposal:
● pH Test Strips:
This test is the easiest way to test your soil pH. You just need to put a sample of soil on its strips and you will be able to determine the pH by checking the dominant color. Each strip has a pH sensitive dye.
It is also the most inexpensive way of testing soil. However, it is not the most accurate because the soil is dark colored, thus sometimes it is hard to read the changes. Soil can leave a stain that reduces readability. Therefore, it usually shows the closest results.
They also have just a resolution of 0.5 pH units which means that the nearest pH result would be. 0.5 pH +/-. Additionally, inaccurate results can cost you the wrong techniques for growing your plants and money wastage.
● Soil pH Chemical Test Kits:
Chemical test kits imply adding chemicals to your soil sample to check its pH. The color change will signal the pH levels. It is similar to the pH Test Strips. It is easy to use and inexpensive, however, it is not very accurate. The color change of the kits can be subjective, therefore the results will vary depending on the person who tests the soil
- Digital Soil pH Pocket Testers:
In comparison with the strips and kits, digital Soil pH pocket testers are more accurate and portable. You can carry it in your pocket. It uses a pH electrode that provides much greater accuracy of the results that are easier to read as they are presented on the LCD screen.
Portable Soil pH Meters :
Portable soil pH meters bring soil pH testing to the next level. They provide the most accurate results such as the one you can get in a laboratory. Soil pH Meters are customizable and portable. By using them you can enjoy multiple functions such as multi parameter and data logging.
At Uniglobal you can find 3 in 1 soil pH Meters and 4 in 1 pH soil Meters. It is a bit larger investment observing the prices. But on the other hand, you won’t risk spending money on wrong tools or chemicals due to the inaccurate test results from other soil pH testers.
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