How To Use A pH Meter For Soil. 2 Best Methods

There are two methods to learn how to use a ph meter for soil. But why do you need to know how to test soil pH with pH meter? The importance of this doing this process in the garden affects the quality of the plants you’ll produce. 

To put it short, getting the soil pH right by measuring the acidity of alkalinity will let you know any necessary procedures to do for the garden. The pH level is vital for hydroponics, but remember how the soil plays a significant factor in the plants’ health and growth. 

 

How To Use A pH Meter For Soil. 2 Best Methods

Comprehensive Guide On How To Use A pH Meter For Soil 

There are two methods for using a pH meter for the soil. The first one is by direct ground measurement, and the other is by using a soil solution. The first one is more straightforward, but it will help learn them both to use what is more convenient for your situation at hand. 

More so, not all pH meters in the market are the same. You might need to use a different meter for a method since not all meters can work on paste-like soil samples. 

 

Method #1. Direct measurement of the soil

The first method is using the pH meter to measure the soil directly. This demands lesser work than making a solution. Still, it’s worth noting that Washington State University only found one meter in the market that will work well directly on soils if you were to use solid or paste-like samples. Nonetheless, both methods require a pH meter with an electrode. 

 

Dig

You need the meter, a shovel, gloves, and both tap and distilled water for direct measurement. Start first by collecting the soil to a depth of 8 inches or more. Remember that you don’t need any rock or stone. It would also be best to discard the 2-inches of the topsoil. 

 

Measure

It might be easier to moisten the soil with distilled water as well, especially when the ground is very dry. Once you have dug to the recommended depth, don’t forget to clean the electrode first using the tap water. Afterward, you can push it into the soil without brutal force, and the reading should settle after some time. 

 

Repeat

You can then rewash the electrode with tap water and remove all the residues by hand as cloth can damage it. With this method, you must always clean the electrode for each location. After all, you can only get a reliable measurement by testing many sites and getting the data average. 

 

 

Method #2. Measurement of a soil solution

The other method is using a soil solution instead of testing the ground directly. Therefore, you will need additional tools besides the meter, shovel, and gloves. You also have to bring deionized water, a beaker and a 2-mm screen, and ziplock bags for the samples. 

 

Sample collection

Quite similar to method #1, you should also discard the 2-inch topsoil and dig at a depth of 8 inches or more. You’ll collect a sample (i.e., 1 per 1000m2 or 1 sample per bag) with the same quantity for many areas and then mix them. You should also remove other debris like sticks and rocks before the next step. 

 

Make the soil solution

Now that you have the mix, use the screen and sieve it to ensure no foreign matters remain. Then, use a 2:1 ratio for the solution where you have 50 ml of deionized water for every 25 grams of sieved soil. Mix them for half a minute and wait for 5 minutes before measuring.

 

Measure

Mix the solution and then insert the electrode similar to how you measure the ground directly. Much like method #1, the accuracy of method #2 relies on how many locations, or in this case, samples you get for measurement.  

 

Which method should you choose?

As mentioned earlier, you use the measuring method that you think will be convenient for the situation. Both present positives and negatives, but they have one similarity to ensure that you get a reliable measurement. For direct ground measurement, test as many locations in your area, or get many samples in the area for soil solution measurement. 

Method number one is advantageous if you want an immediate result because you do it at the ground. However, the constant testing puts you at risk of damaging the electrode and can result in inaccurate readings. On the other hand, making a soil solution consumes more time, but it creates less abuse to the electrodes. 

 

Conclusion

Before planting, it’s crucial to prepare the site and location, such as the soil. Gardeners must learn how to use a ph meter for soil to improve the soil and adjust it to the plants’ requirements. You can either use the meter directly on the ground or test a soil mixture. 

The first method is straightforward, but you must be careful not to damage the electrode for each test. On the other hand, the second method only differs because you’ll mix the soil sample and deionized water first for testing. Either way should help you grow plants more effectively, but don’t forget to test as many locations in your area or gather as many samples as you can to create a solution for accurate results.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter!