Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Cinthia
It is possible to get to know how your plants are doing by using the soil moisture meter to test the wetness or dryness of your soil.
Do you sometimes wonder what’s going on under the surface of your soil? Do you watch your plants struggle to thrive despite all the efforts you have put? Technology today offers us an easy solution to these problems. The soil meter is the best solution.
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A soil moisture meter is a simple tool that probes your soil to find out if the moisture content around your plant roots is efficient. In an instant, you get to learn whether your soil needs more water or no water at all for the next few days.
If you have been for a solution like this one, go ahead and get yourself a moisture meter. A soil meter is an easy tool to work with. Anybody can be able to use it without professional help. Simply insert the metal probe into the soil to reach the roots of a plant. The tip of the probe sends a reading to the dial that is located at the top of the meter. From the dial, you can get to know the moisture content of your soil fast. Depending on the reading and the type of plant you have, you can choose to either water or refrain for a few days.
Why use a Moisture Meter?
Here are a few benefits of using the soil meter:
- Helps you understand your plant better. The main reason why you use a soil meter is so you can understand your plant better. This will help you care for it better. Poor watering schedules can either cause the plant to be dry or waterlogged. This leads to long term damage or the demise of the plant. Being able to know how much moisture the soil holds under the surface, you get to know exactly how to water your plants.
- Saves you water. Especially for outdoor plants, you might be wasting a lot of water by overwatering. By checking the moisture content of the coil, you can end the guesswork of when you should water. This potentially saves you lots of water.
- Saves you money. By saving the amount of water you use on your farm, you save the money you pay the water bill. Some plants are also very expensive to buy and if you destroy them by overwatering you loose on some good money. A moisture meter will help you water your plants properly and save you money on replacing dying ones.
Features to Look for When Buying a Soil Meter
The type of soil meter you need depends on where you want to use it.
- For indoor use, select a moisture meter that has a short slender stem.
- For outdoor use, choose a more robust meter with a long and sturdy stem. These long-stemmed meters are a bit expensive compared to the slender short stem meters.
- For hard soil like clay, choose a very thick and strong stem meter to prevent damage.
The Best Soil Meter to Work with
There are all kinds of soil meters in the market today. They range from a few dollars to hundreds and they come in all types. Finding the best one can be a challenge.
Let’s help you out with finding the best in different categories. Using our buyer’s guide you get to learn a few things about the best moisture meters and choose the right one for yourself.
Best Overall: XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
XLUX soil moisture meter is a slim 7-inch probe that checks the moisture level of your outdoor and indoor plants on a scale of 1-10. It can also be used in the lawns, flower beds as well as the soil of shrubs and trees. This moisture meter is analog requiring no batteries or charging. It gives an instant reading of the moisture levels.
This moisture meter is not considered heavy duty; it warns you not to jam it with hard or compact soil. The soil should not be very dry or hard otherwise you will damage the meter. This tester offers excellent guidance on how wet or dry the soil is and requires simple maintenance.
To read the moisture level, simply put the moisture meter’s stem into your soil and read the large dial. The dial has a color-coded reading system that identifies the moisture in the soil. Farmers who have used this meter are happy with its quality and the low price. Though it offers farmers an 18-month warranty, it is delicate and should be used with a lot of care.
- Low cost
- 18-month warranty
- Simple to use
- No batteries or charging required
- Works effectively
- Very delicate
- Best suited for soft soil
Best Digital Display: ECOWITT WH0291 Soil Moisture Tester with LCD Display
ECOWITT moisture meter has an easy to read wireless LCD that shows the soil moisture levels in percentage. The display also includes the current time and can be positioned within 300 feet of the moisture probe. It works best for outdoor plants, patio plants, or any indoor plant as long as it within its range of the display.
This digital meter is easy to use and accurate. It can be calibrated for both low and high humidity environments adding to its accuracy. It uses 2 AA batteries that will need replacement often.
- Easy to use
- Comes with an LCD
- Uses batteries that you have to replace often
Best Built: REOTEMP Garden and Compost Meter
REOTEMP is a battery-powered moisture meter made from stainless steel. The moisture content is measured at the tip of the stem that is 15 inches long. It reaches deep into the soil and is used in the compost too.
This meter has a scale of 0-10 wetness scale. It adjusts depending on the specific moisture requirements of a plant. The meter uses 1 AAA battery that powers it. Do not use this meter to read soils with high salt content because soil affects the moisture readings.
REOTEMP is well built and sturdy. It has a steel stem and aluminum casing that makes it a tough meter. This tester can be inserted deep into dense soil without the fear of breaking or bending. It is easy to do the calibration with this meter helping you take care of your plants better.
- It is sturdy
- Has a long stem
- Easy to calibrate
- Suitable for both soil and compost
- Fairly costly
Best Analog: DR. METER S10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
DR. METER comes with an 8-inch metal stem that reads the moisture levels at the root of the plants. It has an easy to read dial with a color-coded display for moist, dry, and wet readings. This meter does not require batteries or charging and it works both indoors and outdoors.
It is suitable for both indoors and outdoors but does not work on hard ground which could damage it. Do not submerge it in waterlogged soils because you will destroy it.
- Low cost
- No batteries required
- Gives sensitive readings
- Easy to use
- Not for use in hard soils
Best Digital reader: LUSTER LEAF Digital Moisture Meter
LUSTER LEAF is best for use on soil only. It comes with a 3-inch long stem and is suitable for checking houseplants, window boxes, hanging baskets, and container gardens.
It offers a digital reading that comes with information on over 150 types of plants. This helps you understand what to do with the readings you have received. It uses batteries to work and comes with a special cleaning pad.
- Low cost
- Digital reader
- Easy to use
- Batteries and cleaner included
- Only used in container plants
- Has a short probe
Best 3 in 1: SURENSHY Soil Tester Meter
SURENSHY has a 3 in 1 ability to test soil pH value, the sunshine intensity, and the dry humidity of the soil. It is one of the best gardening tools that provide reliable data for your plants.
It is easy to use by inserting the soil tester kit into the soil up to 5 or 6 inches. Press the button that corresponds to Light, pH, or moisture to get the corresponding results. Always water the soil before testing as it does not test dry soils.
SURENSHY meter does not need a battery or charge to read. It is easy to use by inserting it into the soil and getting the right soil value. It is convenient for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Easy to use
- 3 in 1 soil reader
- Does not need batteries or charge
- Does not test hard soils
Which is the most popular soil moisture sensor?
Soil Moisture Sensors that use the Capacitance Method Capacitance-based soil moisture sensors are by far the most popular type of soil moisture sensor on the market today. They’re also the most accurate and are easy to use. They measure the electrical capacitance between two parallel metal plates. The higher the capacitance, the more water there is in the soil. Capacitance-based soil moisture sensors can be installed anywhere in the soil profile, including at or below ground level. The downside is that they require a power source and typically need to be powered by an AC outlet.
1.They can also be quite expensive.
What are some other quality moisture sensors?
Soil Moisture Sensors that Use the Resistance Method Resistance-based soil moisture sensors measure the amount of electrical resistance between two metal plates. The higher the resistance, the more water there is in the soil. They can be installed anywhere in the soil profile, including at or below ground level. The downside is that they require a power source and typically need to be powered by an AC outlet. They can also be quite expensive.
Soil Moisture Sensors that Use the Infrared Method Some soil moisture sensors use infrared (IR) technology. They measure the amount of heat emitted from the surface of a sensor pad. The higher the temperature, the more water there is in the soil. These sensors are very sensitive to the environment and have a limited range. They’re usually installed at or below ground level. The downside is that they require a power source and typically need to be powered by an AC outlet.
Soil Moisture Sensors that Use the Thermocouple Method Some soil moisture sensors use thermocouples. They measure the amount of heat generated by the thermocouple when it comes into contact with the soil. The higher the temperature, the more water there is in the soil. These sensors can be installed anywhere in the soil profile, including at or below ground level.
What should you consider when shopping around?
1.Soil Moisture Meter Features You Need to Consider We’ve put together a list of some of the most important features that you should consider when buying a soil moisture meter.
2. Accuracy The first thing you need to look at is the accuracy of your soil moisture meter. This will be one of the most important factors in determining if this is the right soil moisture meter for your farm. When you’re considering purchasing a soil moisture meter, make sure to look at the accuracy of the device. There are several different ways to measure soil moisture, but one of the best ways to check the accuracy of your soil moisture meter is by testing it against a standard. The National Irrigation Association recommends using a device called a “reference meter”. A reference meter is basically a standard measuring device that you can use to compare your soil moisture meter to. If you find that your soil moisture meter is off, then you know you need to get a new meter.
3. Watering System Size It’s also important to consider how much water your farm will be using. If you have a large farm with lots of acres, then you may want to invest in a larger watering system than what you need for a smaller farm. The size of your farm will affect the size of your irrigation system. If you’re looking for a small and portable watering system, then you can opt for a low-pressure system that is easy to move from one place to another. A higher pressure system may not be suitable for a smaller farm. You can also get a solar watering system. Solar watering systems are perfect for farms with no access to electricity. This will allow you to water your plants throughout the year even when there isn’t any power.
4. Watering Options
When it comes to watering your crops, there are several different options you can choose from. One of the most common watering options is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is a great option because it doesn’t waste as much water as other methods. With this type of system, you can control how much water is going into the soil and how much is being wasted by running off. Another type of watering system is sprinklers. Sprinklers are usually used to irrigate large areas, such as lawns and golf courses. You can also use sprinklers to water individual plants. It’s important to consider how much water you will need to use on your farm. This will help you decide which type of watering system will be best for your farm.
5. Water Conservation
A good way to conserve water is to make sure that you don’t over-water your crops. If you have a drip irrigation system, then you can easily turn the water off when your crops are done being watered.
How much does a soil moisture meter cost?
The average soil moisture meter costs between $35 and $100, but prices vary greatly based on the brand. The prices for these devices can be lowered by purchasing used models, but there are also some risks involved when buying used equipment. Keep Learning Most soil moisture meters use a combination of radio waves and sensors to determine the amount of water in the ground.
In the end, the goal is to make sure you end up with the right meter for your kind of soil. If a simple device like this one can help you gauge your soil’s moisture, then you are set to prosper in your farming. Going a step ahead and getting a 3 in 1, will help you get value for your money. Make this tool an essential part of your gardening journey and you will get the desired results!