How To Use Your New PH Meter From The Squirm Firm

When it comes to maintaining the optimal conditions that result in happy composting worms, keeping a neutral pH is pretty high on the list.

PH stands for potential Hydrogen. But, in laymen’s terms, pH refers to how acidic or alkaline something is.

Hooray for Technology!

Gone are the days of mixing worm compost in vials with mysterious liquids to figure out the pH of a sample. These days, we worm farmers have a much simpler option that yields results in just seconds. Today we use a handheld pH meter to test the contents, or bedding, of our worm bins.

Hooray for Chemistry?

The bedding is the mixture of paper, castings, and partially decomposed organic matter that the worms live in. As we add different food scraps and amendments to the bin, the chemical makeup of that bedding changes and the worm’s environment becomes more or less suitable.

Your pH meter will determine if conditions in your worm bin are close enough to a pH that sits right around a neutral 7 (+/- 1) on a scale of 1 to 14. Readings that fall much below 7 slide toward being dangerously acidic, while those above 7 are too alkaline.

Way to Work It!

The pH meter is wonderfully simple to use and takes only seconds to take an accurate reading. What’s more, your pH meter requires no batteries at all. Instead, naturally occurring electrolytes in the soil provide the chemical reaction that powers the function of your meter.

Simply plunge the meter a few inches beneath the surface so that there is enough contact for an accurate reading. Check out the gauge to see where the needle points. That’s all there is to it!

HINT: Try testing your bin in a few different areas to find pockets where leftover food may remain or amendments have altered bedding conditions.

The 8-inch probe is designed specifically for use in soil. You can test the functioning of your meter outside of soil in a solution made of distilled white vinegar and water. Place the meter into the mixture and watch as the needle drops to the acidic side.

If your worm bin smells really bad you may find that a similar reaction happens when you place your meter into the bedding. Yep- that smell is one of the warnings that acidic conditions are plaguing your worm bin.

PH Meter Saves the Day!

Use your handy pH meter to catch harmful acidity before it gets out of hand. If you are getting an acidic reading, start by letting that bedding air out a while and incorporate some pulverized eggshells to get the pH to a more neutral level. Maintain a neutral pH with bedding amendments and consistently careful feeding.

Keeping it Clean

Taking excellent care of your moisture meter will extend its life and proper functioning for years to come. Each time you use it be sure to wipe it clean and dry it off before putting it away. Store your moisture meter in a safe place away from excessive heat, cold, or moisture.

Now that you no longer have to guess how to use or read your pH meter from The Squirm Firm, try it out for yourself to keep your worms safe and healthy in your care. Have fun testing your worm bins, and best of luck with your worm composting project! To stay connected to all the latest tips, tricks, and worm compost advice sign up for our monthly newsletter. Just once each month The Squirm Firm will send a FREE newsletter with our expert advice right to your email inbox.