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The Best Soil, PH Testers AKA PH Meters

What You Should Know Before You Buy A PH Tester

PH testers ( AKA as PH Meters), which measure PH levels in either soil or water, is a must-have item for all cannabis growers. Testing PH levels in soil or water is vital because proper PH levels are essential for cannabis growers who want to maximize their yields. For example, if you ignore the PH testing and your PH levels or either too high or too low your marijuana plant will either not be able to either absorb vital nutrients properly, or they will be more susceptible to diseases.
So, test your  PH levels!!

First, before I go any further, I would like to give a brief introduction on PH and why it is crucial to test PH levels.

What Is PH?

The PH acronym means “potential of Hydrogen,” and  PH  is the measurement of the levels of hydrogen ion concentration in either soil or water that is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of the substance of either soil or water.  It’s okay, if you find this confusing, because all you really need to know is that too high a PH  level or too small of a  PH level  is damaging to cannabis plants. However, the following background information is helpful as you should have at least a basic understanding of PH.
The PH level of soil or water depends on the ration of hydronium ion to hydroxide. The PH levels are measured via a scale that ranged from zero to 14.
Zero to six PH levels are considered to be acidic. Seven PH level is pure water, and eight to 14  PH level is basic or alkaline. Please see chart (Fig 1) for a more in-depth description of all of the PH levels. For cannabis, you should strive for PH levels between 5.5 and 6.5.

Fig. 1

What Happens If You Have Too Little or Too Much PH?

If you have PH levels that are more than 7.5 your cannabis plants roots will be unable to take in vital nutrients like iron, zinc, manganese, and boron. If your PH levels fall to below six, your cannabis plants will be unable to absorb phosphoric acid, magnesium, and calcium. Also, marijuana plants are more likely to be subject to diseases when the PH level drops between three to five and the temperatures are near 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Do PH Meters/Testers Work?

 The two most essential parts of a PH meter are the following:

  • Measuring Probe: The measuring probe has two electrodes, which test the levels of hydrogen ion activity in either soil or water. These electrodes are either separated or placed together in a single probe.
  • Electronic Voltmeter: A voltmeter is simply the mechanism, which visually  displays the PH level. The readings, for the voltmeter, are either digital or are shown via a moving coil that closely resembles a traditional, bathroom weight scale.

To use the PH meter, you simply bury the probes into either water or soil and  the probes will then will measure the PH levels.

Different PH Tester Options?

There are two type of PH testers that are most commonly used by marijuana growers. These two types of testers are detailed below:

  • Test Strips: These are simply strips of paper, which change color with the respective color representing a various PH level. This is the least accurate way to measure PH levels.
  • Handheld PH Meters: Are used directly in your grow space where you submerge the probe electrodes into either water or soil and then read to meter to find out the PH level. The handheld meters resemble either a pen or a bike tire pump.

What Should You Look For In a PH Tester?

  • Accuracy Levels: It is not surprising that the more accurate your PH Tester is, the more you will pay. Generally, the more precise, the better.  However, if you are only growing one or two plants, you don’t need pinpoint accuracy, and a PH test strip will likely be sufficient. However, if you are a commercial grower, you should invest in a high-end (they generally cost $100 to $200) commercial grade PH test kit. Also, if you are growing commercially outdoors or in a greenhouse, it is wise for you to send out soil to an outside lab for testing.
  • Usability: Your PH tester should be as easy to use as possible. That is why, if you are not mechanically inclined, you should consider a basic PH meter at first with few bells and whistles, and if you desire you may then want to upgrade at a later time. Also, make sure that your meter has a decent instruction manual.
  • Multi-Functional: Many PH testers are multi-functional as they measure not only PH levels; but, also moisture and other factors, which are vital for a good yield for your cannabis plants.  So, to save the need to buy extra equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a, multi-functional PH meter. 

Click the following link to find out what other Marijuana grow room equipment checklist you should purchase.