No one loves a garden or lawn with dead flowers and plants.
Even seasoned gardeners and plant lovers have a hard time keeping their plants alive. Gardening is not easy, and not everyone is excellent at taking care of the plants.
You can try to guess what the plants might need, but now you can put this guesswork to an end. By taking the help of technology, you can test your soil and diagnose your plants sitting at your house.
Your dream of having a garden full of daisies and lilies is not a dream anymore; with these soil analysis kits, your job becomes simpler and effective. After using these testing kits, you will feel like the plants are talking and telling their needs.
Let us look at our first product on the list.
Best Soil Testing Kit – Reviews for 2021
Best Overall: Sonkir Soil pH Meter Kit
- Manufacturer: Sonkir
- Item weight: 2.89 ounces
- Item dimension: 11.5 x 2 x 1.5 inches
- Type: pH test meter
- Best usage: soil pH testing
- Number of pH tests available: Unlimited
- Warranty: 12-month money-back guarantee.
Sonkir Soil pH Meter is a three-in-one soil sample kit that detects pH, moisture, and sunlight with just a push button. This easy-to-operate multi-functional tool is a must-have in every gardener’s tool kit.
The features and build quality have made this product a number one ranker on our best soil ph tester list. Let us read the product’s benefits and shortcomings to learn more about the tester.
- This Sonkir Soil pH Meter is a device that provides 3-in-1 functioning for optimal gardening and farming experience.
- The soil sample kit detects the soil’s pH value, so your plants stay healthy. It also detects moisture levels to avoid over and under-watering. An additional feature of this device is the sunlight meter that tests whether your plants need more sunlight or shade.
- The device is fully automated, so you do not have to worry about replacing the battery or charging the device.
- Sonkir Soil pH Meter is designed to use indoors as well as outdoors. The device gives accurate readings irrespective of the plant placement.
- This soil pH test kit is extremely lightweight, making the device portable to carry around.
- The double prong needles help give accurate results every time you undergo a soil test. The copper probe reads the moisture level, and the aluminum needle reads the pH value. Having two separate needles makes the device efficient and saves time.
- The metal prongs are pliable, so the device often gets bent if extreme external pressure is applied.
- This prong test is not the quickest test available in the market. You need to wait 10 minutes to get an accurate reading. More than 10 minutes are expected to make the device neutral for the next test. The entire testing can take more than 45 minutes for each plant bed.
- Few customers initially had a hard time as the device wasn’t reacting to any test requests.
Sonkir Soil pH Meter’s customer service is very proactive. The response time and return policy are very consumer-friendly. Loyal buyers are impressed with this company’s after-sale service.
- We recommend that you lightly scrub the prongs with a ball of steel wool or fine sander to make the device alive. The device seems to work even better with a light scrubbing session.
- To keep the prongs rust-free, keep the needles clean and dry. Scrub the product with toothpaste or steel wool in case of rust occurrence.
Runner-up: Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit
- Manufacturer: Botaniworld, LLC
- Item weight: 2.39 ounces
- Item dimension: 1.75 x 1.75 x 4.25 inches
- Type: Test strips
- Best usage: soil pH testing
- Number of pH tests available: 100
- Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee
Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Strips Kit is the best soil pH tester in the market. The easy method of this device gives you accurate readings every time.
This trustworthy brand is going to great lengths to satisfy its customers. Let us look at the pros and cons to understand this brand better.
- These strips are specifically designed to measure the pH level of your soil. The strips are chemically treated for measuring the soil. Thus, they give more accurate results than any standard pH kit or litmus paper.
- The strip targets the 3.5 to 9.0 range, meaning all garden soils are compatible with this product.
- Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Kit comes with 100 pH test strips. The company offers a generous amount of test strips so you can easily carry out tests for months.
- The product comes with a detailed 16-page color testing handbook that educates the user about their soil inadequacies. A bonus of lime and sulfur application charts makes the guide even more informative.
- The tests are easy to use; you need to dip the strip in your soil-water mixture and wait for the color to change. Match your color strip with the corresponding chart to know the results.
As the product is wholly focused on colors, it is not suitable for people with color blindness.
Few consumers have complained that the product becomes hard to match as each test has four colors. Sometimes two colors match one result, and the other two match different results.
Garden Tutor Soil is very quick and responsive to help its customers out. The company takes extra efforts to provide guidance and answers to those in need. Their customer service agents will even help tell your results if you mail them the pictures.
If you are in the market for a reliable manual product that gives out accurate readings than digital pH meters, then this is your product. On top of that, the process is quick, simple, and straightforward.
Alternative: Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit
- Manufacturer: Luster Leaf
- Item weight: 7.2 ounces
- Item dimension: 1.54 x 5.83 x 12.2 inches
- Type: Digital soil test kit
- Best usage: pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potash test
- Number of pH tests available: 25
- Warranty: 1 year
Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit is an elaborate soil sampling kit that gives assured results. This compact device is lightweight but holds power for testing pH, nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus of your soil with just a button. Let us learn about this scientific data monitoring device to add this product to your next gardening list.
- This soil nutrient tester uses LED technology to communicate the results visually.
- Luster Leaf 1605 Test Kit digitally reads soil pH, nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous. A single device that gives you a variety of tests within seconds.
- The test kit has more than 450 plants’ pH preferences for a quick and accurate measurement.
- The product comes with a fertilizer guideline booklet based on nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous. This handy guide will give you a wide variety of solutions to your test result problems.
- The device can perform 25 tests- ten for a pH soil test and five for nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous. The device comes with a test tube storage dock to store vials easily.
- Luster Leaf 1605 Digital Soil Test Kit is proudly designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A., which guarantees that the product goes through rigorous quality control for consumer satisfaction.
- Customers have noticed that the entire testing process gets messy once they start testing the soil.
- The capsule is hard to open, and on top of that, it houses chemical liquid inside. One needs to have the manual dexterity to open the capsule and perform the test carefully.
The company gives you the option of ordering extra capsules. Ordering additional means you can use your machine for years by ordering separate capsules and reusing the testing device.
We recommend people with color blindness choose this soil sample kit as their main gardening helper. Apart from that, the product gives a pretty accurate reading. The soil sampling activity will make a fun summer afternoon if you let your kids do the testing.
Alternative: YOYOMAX Soil Test Kit
- Manufacturer: YOYOMAX
- Item weight: 2.89 ounces
- Item dimension: 10.24 x 2.4 x 1.54 inches
- Type: Battery-powered kit
- Best usage: moisture, light, pH testing
- Number of pH tests available: Unlimited
- Warranty: Can contact the manufacturer for information
YOYOMAX Soil Test Kit stands as our 2nd runner-up for the best soil analysis kit. This kit doesn’t require any additional accessories and testing gears; you can start using the product without any hassle.
Let us look at its features and our buying advice to help you understand the product even better.
- YOYOMAX Soil Test Kit is a perfect device if you are looking for something that tests your soil’s pH, moisture, and light, all with one device. The simple button operation makes the process easy and quick. You can easily find if your soil needs more food, water, or light.
- The product doesn’t need batteries or charging, so that you can use it anytime, anywhere without the fuss of batteries.
- This soil pH test kit is lightweight, compact, and portable to carry anywhere.
- The features make it possible to use this product indoors and outdoors.
- The double prong feature helps the device get accurate results within a few minutes.
People have had complaints about the pH meter. According to their grievances, the product fails to move for a pH test, the dial on display stays fixed.
YOYOMAX has a 24-hour customer support service that makes any returning process easy. The service executives strive their best to provide solutions to your problems at any hour of the day.
This product will stay for a long time if you take primary care of the product. Make sure to wipe the product clean after every use. Avoid poking the device on rough cobblestone pathways to increase the testing kit’s life.
Alternative: Mural Wall Art Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
- Manufacturer: Mural Wall Art
- Item weight: 8.1 ounces
- Item dimension: 13.03 x 3.86 x 1.38 inches
- Type: Meter
- Best usage: Moisture test
- Number of pH tests available: Unlimited
- Warranty: 12 months replacements and 60 days money-back guarantee
Our last but not least product is the Mural Wall Art Soil Moisture Sensor Meter. This sensor meter works quickly, and you do not need to carry time-consuming, intricate steps for testing moisture levels. It will help if you read the benefits and drawbacks of this product to know more about the device.
- Mural Wall Art Soil Moisture Sensor Meter is a great device that measures the moisture level of your plant bed within seconds.
- The soil sample kit comes with a single prong, causing minimum damage to the plants’ roots. This not-so-invasive testing kit keeps the roots and soil intact even after several continuous tests.
- The device has a large and clear dial, so senior citizens can easily read the results without any difficulty.
- This scientific data monitoring is highly accurate and portable at the same time.
- The device doesn’t require any extra batteries or power sources to charge. You can test your soil anytime without worrying about the charging level.
- They have an excellent after-sale service along with a 12-month replacement and 60 days money-back guarantee.
Buyers have received this product with few external cracks on the device’s body.
The product sometimes misbehaves and shows a dry sign even if the pot is drenched with water.
We couldn’t find any extra unique feature worth mentioning.
If you want to purchase a simple moisture level testing kit, this is a perfect buy. Since it works precisely as a moisture detector, you are bound to have good accurate test results every time.
Best Soil Testing Kit On The Market: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are home soil test kits accurate?
Home soil test kits are generally accurate when testing the soil’s pH levels and nutrient deficiencies. That being said, you must use good quality test devices.
You are bound to get uneven, false, and unreliable results with cheap testing devices. No one can guarantee the accuracy of home soil test devices, but testing with such devices is better than not testing at all.
These tests are quick and economical compared to test results from analytical laboratories. If you are a home gardener or wish to know the soil type, we recommend using a home soil kit.
On the other hand, if you plan on growing massive crops and farming for food, you must have a professional laboratory test. These tests give 100 percent accurate results, so your intense labor and time won’t go in vain. Home soil test kits are usually manufactured for hobby gardeners and plant lovers.
These test kits are good to have around the house for a quick update. People living in remote areas use home soil test kits religiously. These soil analysis kits lack precise decimal units; they generally classify the results into broad categories like high, medium, or low.
American society for horticultural science has a research journal that states Rapitest kits are 92 percent accurate. Therefore, using a home soil test is not a bad option if you are a budding gardener. It will surely give the correct result provided you use a trusted brand, like the ones mentioned in this buyer’s guide.
Do soil testers work?
Yes, soil testers work to provide necessary information related to your soil. Soil testers work on the basic principle of finding a lacking mineral or component. These testers are mini versions of complex laboratory machinery that we see in a professional laboratory.
The inaccuracy with the results makes people question these soil testers. As mentioned earlier, a good quality soil tester will always work and give you correct results. For getting the best accurate results with these soil testers, refer to our next question below.
How to use a soil test kit for best results?
Using a soil test kit isn’t difficult or complicated if you follow the instructional manual, but you can get inaccurate results if you make mistakes.
We will go through 3 types of soil test kits and few best result tips for each product to help you with that.
- You need to push the switch to the desired test setting like pH, light, and moisture.
- Insert the probe into the soil about 4-5 inches, keep the dial steady and check the results after 10 minutes. Wipe the probe before storing it.
For best results
- Avoid using the probe meter continuously without giving it some time to rest.
- Try to note down the result after 10 minutes and before 12 minutes.
- Water the soil before testing the product as dry soil won’t give the best results.
- Collect the soil from your garden’s major spots and mix the final heap of soil.
- Mix the soil with water and form a mixture.
- Dip the test and hold it for 3 seconds. Measure the test strip by referring to the color chart.
For best results
- Collect the soil from all levels of the soil bed.
- After mixing the soil with water, let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir the mixture and let it sit for another 10 seconds, then dip the test strip.
- Avoid using brass, bronze, or galvanized utensils for mixing purposes. Try to use clean plastic or glass bowls for the process.
- Collect the soil sample and let it sit overnight with the water solution.
- With the help of a tiny dropper, fill the vial and add the chemical capsule. Let the tube sit for another 10 minutes, then put the vial in the testing machine. Press the button of your desired test and get instant results.
For best results:
- Keep the soil and water mixture for 24 hours.
- Avoid touching the chemical with bare fingers.
- Press the accurate button for the right color-coded bottle.
- Avoid using tap water to mix the soil as it will add more minerals. You can add distilled or rainwater.
How do you test a field of soil?
You have to take accurate soil samples if you wish to test a field or soil accurately. The result will get accurate if you carry out the soil sampling the right way.
Divide your field into different areas
Sample only the areas with a similar crop, cropping history, texture, and fertility history. If the soil is exceptionally different in your field, you can sample that patch in another separate batch. Limit one sample to 20 acres for flat land and up to 5 acres for a hilly region.
Sample each area
Collect 15-30 subsamples from each area in a zig-zag pattern. Avoid sampling the site’s surface soil as it will have unwanted minerals that can give you inaccurate results.
Try sampling to a depth of 7 to 8 inches for cultivated crops and 3 to 4 inches for sod fields and pasture. Try to avoid sampling back furrows, old fence rows, fertilizer or lime spill areas, low spots, and small saline areas. Make sure to sample at least 300 to 350 feet away from crushed limestone or gravel roads as their dust changes the soil’s pH.
Mixing the subsamples
Mix the soil subsamples thoroughly in a clean plastic container. Dry the soil for 24 hours if the test requires a wet soil mixture. Do not microwave the soil unless you plan on doing a nitrate test.
Testing the field
Your main work is done; you can send the samples to the laboratory or carry out home soil tests. If you wish to perform a home soil test, we recommend reading the manufacturer’s manual for a detailed report.
We encourage new gardeners to overcome their fear of dead plants.
You can plant several trees and have a luscious green garden or yard by learning about your soil. Keep checking the soil nutrient level, and enjoy the gardening process.