Sunday, March 25, 2012

Burpee Electronic Soil Tester. Review. Buy Or Pass?

In typical fashion I should have done some research before I bought this twenty dollar gizmo at the local Lowes. But. I wasn't really looking for it. I did run out of the Mosser Lee Soil Master PH tablets for their kit, so the search was for more PH tabs...nope, natta, no way. I didn't think so anyway. You have to buy the whole kit again.

Okay. Soil tester. Has probes. Would you think it could just be jabbed into the ground and get a reading? I did. It's a messy procedure getting readings, if they make any sense. I decided to by both kits and make a comparison.

The Burpee tester requires mixing water with the soil taken (far more soil than the small cap full  required by Mosser). Then it's a fifteen minute wait until the soil gets saturated. Frankly I thought it was soaked the first 20 seconds when I stirred it. But I waited and poured off the excess water as instructed. Fifteen minutes gone and in goes one probe with the first of two samples being tested.

There are two settings. One for PH, and the other for "fertility." The PH setting did not move from above 7.0. Worthless toy I thought. I did wait the required two minutes while the probe was in the soil. Alrightie then let's move on to the second soil sample after cleaning the probes. Almost the same result, but the PH is coming down. Maybe it needs to warm up? Oh no, different soil location. Maybe it is working? Incidentally, no batteries required.

Next step, let's try the fertility setting (below). Now we're getting better results with the PH level. This by comparing the Mosser Lee tablet, water, and soil type test.

In the background we have the final results of the Mosser testing kit. PH readings are very similar, but the Burpee probe shows a finer result, if you want to believe.  The next photo result is the second sample also compared to the Mosser system.

Buy or pass? I'm taking the probe back. Reasons being I'm used to the other kit and find the Burpee procedure too long and messy. Yes, the Mosser kit only provides ten tablets for ten individual PH tests but I did discover the manufacturer of the tablets, LaMotte, sells 50 at a clip for about twelve bucks online.

I haven't done any serious soil testing around here except for the lawn a few years ago. This test was strictly for planting more Moon flowers along the fence line bordering the woods. No way would they grow like the ones last year up near the porch area with these kind of readings.

Solution: Remove existing soil and replace with soil from the successful area that includes gravel dirt and clay. Most would not think they would grow well in that setting, but they went nuts last year. Never fertilized either. Probably would have reduced the flowering had I done so anyway. Three vines, oodles of flowers, continuously for 3-4 weeks.

\Look for monster Moonie vines later this summer.

1 comment:

  1. you are much too kind in your review. This "tester" is useless junk! 3 different samples and needle did not move off 7. When I clicked over to "Fertility" the needle STILL stayed on 7. I followed prep instructions to a tee and allowed the 2 minute activation time.. One would think that Burpee would care more about their reputation than to market this piece of.....