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ph Meters, got one?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassguy_, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 633

    I've been considering having ph meters on my trucks for guys to instantly take a ph reading without having the delay of sending a sample to the lab. I have used the small probe kind that is common to the interior landscape industry and the label indicates it can be used in soils. Its accuracy has been fairly good, as we have sent the samples to the lab to compare readings and are usually right on or within a tenth. Do any of you use a particular ph meter? There are now so many marketed and durable designs that I would be more apt to get one that is heavy duty as the ones we have are fairly delicate. Thanks in advance.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    sample gives me more info
  3. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,030

    I have two. One for each truck. They are made by Rapidtest. I got them both at Lowes for about $15. I find them to be accurate. Complete soil test does give you a lot more info though. I use it as a selling tool when selling lime treatments. It helps to show customers on the spot how bad off there lawn is.
  4. envi lawn

    envi lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I've used the Kel-Way Soil Tester for many years. It is relatively accurate. You must keep the metal sensors clean with their special film. I get 2 years out of it, then replace it.
    Nothing beats a testing lab for results, but your clients will get an on the spot answer to their pH questions with the Kel-Way. It sells lots of lime all season long.
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I use mine as a selling tool. It also lets me know what range I am in before I actually bid a property. I want to know if it needs the bare mins or wether I can sell the max. Then a full soil test is done once I land the Job. It is a good prop for geting jobs when bidding. They see you doing something that most don't do.
  6. The meters tell you the ph, but how much to apply ? Which kind of lime?
  7. Doster's L & L

    Doster's L & L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    i can see how using the pH meter would be useful for on site selling, but i agree with DUSTY CEDAR and tim turf. Even after using the meter and you have the go ahead from the customer, i would definitely take samples! You will need to know whether or not to use calcitic or dolomitic lime. Calcitic of course has more calcium and dolomitic has a higher amount of magnesium with some calcium as well. If the magnesium is through the roof, the plant will not take up phosphorus like it should. i think that's the one? anyhow, one of the nutrients is inhibited if mag is too high.
  8. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    I keep a "PH Pro" by Spectrum Technologies in the truck. It has to be re-calibrated before each test. I don't use it often but once I checked a load of mushroom compost being delivered for a raised bed to find the PH at 9.0. I decided not to mix that in with my 8.0 "top soil".
  9. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 633

    I understand that the meter only show the PH and don't imply any more. Obviously you can have a perfect Ph and still have a problem with some micro deficiencies. I have a LaMotte Lab as well, but I'm not going to pull it out every time I need a PH, what i'll do is if anything is in question is normally send it off for testing anyways which I pass off to the customer, but it's nice to readily have a way to see Ph without Litmus paper testing and a tray full of bottles.
  10. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    It also helps explain why a Pin Oak or Azalea might not be the best choice in Indiana.

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