A Moisture meter is a tool that lets us know how much moisture is in there in the soil. This tool will help us to check the exact condition of the soil. Some advanced models also show sunlight level, soil temperature and pH value along with soil moisture.
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Why do you need a moisture meter?
The most basic way to check the soil moisture is by sticking the finger into the soil. This method of testing the soil is not accurate since our finger can reach only a few inches from the top of the soil. So, we will not know exactly how much moisture is there beneath that 2-3 inch reach.
Some key factors why we need a moisture meter:
- Some symptoms of overwatering and underwatering plants like wilting, drooping, leaves turning yellow, brown spots on the leaves are similar.
- To avoid reaching a permanent wilting point (soil water content at which most plants cannot recover from wilting).
- High soil-moisture levels favor the development of destructive water mold fungi.
- Overwatering is one of the main causes of root rots.
- There can be many types of soil in our garden. The moisture-holding capacity of each type of soil varies on the type of soil.
What are the features of a moisture meter?
- Moisture meter – Lets us know when to water so that we will never overwater or underwater our plants.
- Light meter – Helps us to determine if the plant is getting adequate light.
- pH – Help us to control the pH level in the soil. The pH of the soil can directly impact how each type of plant will best grow
How does a moisture meter work?
A Moisture meter uses the two electrode probes to pass the current through the soil. It then reads that resistance to get the moisture level.
The resistance to the flow of electricity from one electrode to the other is used to measure the moisture content, which is then translated into a moisture meter reading.
The amount of moisture is inversely proportional to the amount of resistance. Less resistance means that there is more moisture present in the material. More resistance means there is less moisture.
Why is it important to determine soil pH?
Soil pH is the measure of the acidity (sourness) or alkalinity (sweetness) of a soil. The pH ranges from 0 To 14. 0 being most acidic and 14 being most alkaline. A pH of 7 is considered neutral.For most plants, the optimum pH range is between 5.5 to 7.0, but some plants will grow in more acid soil or may require a more alkaline level.
The pH is not an indication of fertility, but it does affect the availability of nutrients. Even with adequate nutrients in the soil, the growth of plants may be limited if the pH level is not proper.
References:More about soil pH
Why my moisture meter is not working correctly?
Some of the reasons why the moisture meter might be showing wrong results/not working correctly:
- The instrument is broken
- The salt levels in water are more
- The battery is low (if applicable)
- The Probes are damaged
- The moisture meter is in the wrong mode
- Internal components are broken
Tips for using a moisture meter
- The top layer of the pot will get dry easier than the bottom layer. Always stick down to the bottom of the soil to take the measurements.
- Take readings at different times of the day to get the most accurate results.
- Take reading from different places of the pot instead of taking the reading from one side of the pot.
Tips for caring moisture meter
- The moisture meter should be used only in the soil. Do not use it to test any liquids directly, such as pure water, lemon juice, vinegar, and so on, or the probes may be damaged.
- Never try to force the moisture probe into the hard or rocky soil.
- Never leave the moisture meter in the soil for extended periods.
- Wipe the Moisture meter after every use
- Do not leave the moisture meter in the soil between readings.