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Kelway Soil Tester Instructions

preparing soil for garden image by Cherry-Merry from

The Kelway Soil Acidity and Moisture Tester is a hand-held device that measures the pH level and the amount of water in soil. It has a simple-to-read dial on top of it and, according to the manufacturer, requires only three minutes to provide accurate measurement levels. The Kelway Soil Acidity and Moisture Tester is inserted directly into the soil and is used to test home garden soils as well as crop soils.

Look at the top dial on the Kelway Soil Acidity and Moisture Tester and make sure that the top of the needle points to the number 7. If it does not, you must calibrate the device.

Wrap a single piece of Kelway conditioning film around the bottom metal tip of the tester and grip it firmly with your fingers. Rotate the top of the tester two to three times to clean the tip.

Insert a garden spade or shovel into the soil you are testing approximately 6 to 12 inches and loosen the soil. Remove any large stones, leaves, pine straw and other debris from the area. You only need to prepare an approximately 6-inch square area of soil.

Insert the bottom of the tester into the soil until the metal tip is covered. Press the soil up against the device with your hands to remove excess air.

Press in on the white button on the side of the tester to measure the soil moisture. Continue holding the button until the needle stabilizes, which can take two to three minutes. Look at the base of the needle in the black area to locate the moisture level of the soil, which is represented as the relative saturation percentage.

Remove the tester from the soil and pick up a handful of the soil in your hand. Close your fist to see if it remains clumped or falls apart. If the soil falls apart, pour 1 to 2 cups of distilled water into the loosened soil to prepare for pH testing.

Grasp the top, round part of the tester and push it down into the prepared area until the bottom metal tip is completely covered with soil. Use your hands to press the soil firmly up against the tester to remove air pockets.

Wait for three minutes and look at the top dial to see where the top of the needle is pointing to determine the pH level of the soil.


To calibrate the tester, grasp the top round cover and turn it counterclockwise to remove it. Insert a screwdriver into the center screw and turn it left or right until the needle points to the number 7 on the pH scale. Replace the cover.

Clean the tester's metal tip after each use with the Kelway conditioning film.

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