pH and NPK Testers/Testing

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NewbOldster

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Seeing as I'm brand new to this growing game, and I'm also as yet unsure how much energy I'm willing to devote to it, (but want to 'do it right' when-and-wherever possible) I have a question about pH meters/testing.

I have two methods I'm using right now, but neither are offering me any kind of affirmation of reliability and/or accuracy.

One is a Rapitest Digital Soil pH Meter - even brand new out of the box it has always read 7.0 - no matter whether I check my outdoor garden soil or my sole potted cannabis plant soil or runoff water from feeding. I've even tried it in tap water, purified drinking water, distilled water, and I even tried it in dish soap - 7.0 pH. New batteries twice over had no effect, either. Something tells me it's worthless junk.

The other method I use is a HoldAll Soil Test Kit (757860) - it has vials you mix soil and a powder in to determine pH as well as separate powders and vials for testing N,K,P, which are then compared to colors on a chart. That one has shown pretty consistent pH levels of around 6.5, slightly acidic. It matters not whether I've fertilized (I've used both OsmoCote and Miracle Grow on separate occasions when I've fed) recently or not.

My question I guess - is there a reliable, easy-to-use pH tester that won't break the bank, and if so what brands/types are the most accurate and reliable? What do you fine folks use? Also what do you folks test for? I'm not sure yet which growing medium I'll actually use either, but once I've decided that, I'll want to check it accurately and reliably.

My only "grow", though stunted by my own irreconcilable idiocy, *seems* relatively healthy, and it easily has more than 50 individual flowers growing, small though they are. They smell just awesome, too! Can't wait to harvest! I'm resigned to the reality that my grows will never reach the levels I see in here, but I'll make the effort for some decent home-grown bud.

I don't mind spending good money for good value, but I don't want to keep throwing it away on unreliable testing devices.

I'd appreciate any help y'all are willing to offer. Thanks in advance!
 
Why do you think you need them?
I don't have them and have never used them to any effect.
All you're doing is keeping them healthy which isn't too hard.
Need airflow,light and a complete fert that is already correct in ph.
Any ferts that need ph adjusting shouldn't be used for cannabis as there are a great many that don't.
Why make it hard cuz some tard on the web says so.
😆
 
Why do you think you need them?
I don't have them and have never used them to any effect.
All you're doing is keeping them healthy which isn't too hard.
Need airflow,light and a complete fert that is already correct in ph.
Any ferts that need ph adjusting shouldn't be used for cannabis as there are a great many that don't.
Why make it hard cuz some tard on the web says so.
😆
Why make it hard cuz some tard on the web says so.

Even if he's a strong tard? ;)

You make a good point...I've been alternating between tap and distilled water for feedings, with very little ferts at all, none of which are canna-specific. I just use their recommendations, then cut that into a quarter dose or so.

I did check my tap water with the second tester, and it was off the color charts high alkaline, so maybe I should stick with distilled water? How about reverse osmosis filtered water?.
 
I don’t test my soil. I have checked my water in the past but lost my pH meter years ago. Like dogster said, there are nute lines that don’t need(usually) pH’ing. If your tap water is really alkaline though, you will need to pH it. I have been lucky I guess with my water. The only time I had nute lockout was when I used GH nutes which do need pH’ing(I was also using soil from a previous grow-no kore of that nonsense for me). Used to use GH Organics line but have transitioned to AN Perfect pH. I thing dogster uses some other line that I can’t recall at the moment but that is what I will be getting when I need to restock. I think hash uses it too and that dude grows some beautiful plants.
 
I don’t test my soil. I have checked my water in the past but lost my pH meter years ago. Like dogster said, there are nute lines that don’t need(usually) pH’ing. If your tap water is really alkaline though, you will need to pH it. I have been lucky I guess with my water. The only time I had nute lockout was when I used GH nutes which do need pH’ing(I was also using soil from a previous grow-no kore of that nonsense for me). Used to use GH Organics line but have transitioned to AN Perfect pH. I thing dogster uses some other line that I can’t recall at the moment but that is what I will be getting when I need to restock. I think hash uses it too and that dude grows some beautiful plants.
There's an ice place nearby where I can get filtered water (not the same as distilled) for a quarter a gallon. I also use distilled water for my sinus rinse, so maybe I'll just start filling the empty distilled jugs with the filtered water and use that.

The variables in this avocation are incredibly diverse! LOL
 
That and tap water is it.
What's your soil? Trust...as a mechanic, I don't believe in Magik Bullet answers to anything.
But the more data and opinions I have, the more research I can do to come up with what works for me. I look for trends in information to come to conclusions, along with personal experience. Which, in this case, I have extremely limited access to. LOL
 
I would lose the distilled water and go all tap myself.........jacks pro 20-20-20 for a ride on easy screet.
😝
Yep they talked me into trying it no regrets here. My plants are happy. Just a tiny bit of nute burn so I dialed to half strength. Itss working great. The girls seem to love it too!
 

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