Posted: 11/05/2013 at 06:33
All l pH meters will be less accurate than soil testing kits, A meter really only works well in contact with water, so drier soil will give a poor reading, and you only measure the pH of the soil immediately in contact with the rod. Taking a small soil sample and adding water followed by the indicator gives a much more accurate reading.
If you are doing a lot of testing, Instead of buying a kit from a garden centre, you could get hold of something like this, which is a lot more cost effective and less fiddly.
and try this method:
1. Dig up some soil, and put it into a container.
2. Break up lumps till it is reasonably fine.
3. Add some water (the amount is not critical*, but enough to allow you to dip in the indicator paper - see next step)
4. Dip in a short length of indicator paper and cmpare the colour against the colour chart.
*Oddly enough the ratio of soil to water does not affect the pH level.