A soil moisture meter is one of the instruments in agriculture. The tool does not directly impact crops, but its ability to measure the water content in the soil will help farmers make various decisions, one of which is when is the right time to water.
However, the use of this technology has not been maximal because of the lacking information. Therefore, in this review, we will discuss in detail everything there is to know about soil moisture meters. What is this tool? How does it work? Here are the explanations.
What is a Soil Moisture Meter?
Admittedly or not, cultivating plants is not something simple. Even in the best of weather conditions, many factors cause this process to fail. One of the causes is the wrong watering process.
Watering plants is not as simple as imagined because it must be done at the right time and with the right amount. Too much moisture will make plant roots rot, but lack of water will also dry it out and die.
However, the problem is, we do not know for sure how much water we need just by looking it at a glance. Ancient farmers used the touch their hands to determine soil conditions, but this was not always accurate. Fortunately, now that problem can be resolved by a soil moisture meter.
As mentioned above, a soil moisture meter is a device that measures the water content and soil moisture content. This tool is known as a tester that can read soil conditions, either overlaid or hidden in certain places.
Based on the results of the inspection, you can decide whether the land is ready for use or still requires further processing. For the planted area, using this tool will help find out how much water the plant needs at a time.
This tool can be for both indoor and outdoor plants. It is quite simple in use, along with accurate results. Data from the soil moisture meter chart that is displayed will help you find out what soil conditions are so you can determine what to do.
Other than moisture meter, we have an article for add nitrogen to soil for enhance your soil quality.
How do Soil Moisture Meters Work?
After reading the explanation above, you may have started to understand the importance of a soil moisture meter to increase plant growth. However, some people may wonder how it works. In general, there are two types of data readings:
The reading of the data by thermogravimetric consists of several steps, namely weighing, oven, and cooling. After all three processes, we have a fixed result. The water content figure is the weight difference before and after heating.
This system works based on electrical conductivity. The water content will be linearly proportional to the measured electrical capacity. The mains power known by device called detect.
However, you do not need to be confused about memorizing the theory of how the soil moisture meter works. This instrument is a kind of leave-in soil moisture meter. It means that you place it to be tested in the area and then start the operation.
Within a period, the instrument will read the soil conditions and display them in the form of data. Based on what shown, you can begin to analyze and determine the next steps.
Some Kinds of Soil Moisture Meter
Despite the same function, the soil moisture meter has several different types. Currently, there are at least four types of instruments divided according to how they work and power sources. Here are the explanations:
Analog Soil Moisture Meter
It is the simplest type of scientific soil moisture meter, both in terms of design and working method. Data reading is carried out based on the electrical conduction of the water content in the soil.
The current is received by itself and sent to the probe in the tool and translates it into data. This tool does not require batteries.
Digital Soil Moisture Meter
The main characteristic of this type is using the battery as an energy source. However, some devices can also connect through a USB cable. This device has a sensor that sends out tiny electromagnetic pulses to determine ground conditions.
The soil moisture meter digital data are shown in computer software integrated with the device. After that, you can process it to determine what to do with the area.
Wicking Soil Moisture Meter
A wicking-type is the best soil moisture meter for indoor plants. This instrument is a plant hydrometer that absorbs moisture from soil samples and then analyzes it based on the system. The color will change according to the reading of the data.
Hybrids Soil Moisture Meter
This type of instrument has several functions at once in one device. Apart from a moisture meter, you can also find out the light intensity of soil pH even though the results are not very accurate. At least, this data can show whether there is a problem with the land or not.
The Best Soil Moisture Meter to Choose
There are so many products of soil moisture meter on the market. However, each brand has its characteristics. Therefore, you need to choose the right tools according to your agricultural needs. The following are some recommendations for the best instruments.
XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Meter
This tool displays soil moisture conditions on a scale of 1-10 (the higher the scale, the higher the moisture). It has a simple design and does not give pinpoint accuracy.
XLUX T10 is suitable for home gardeners. Although the data displayed is less detailed, it is sufficient to know the right time of watering.
REOTEMP Compost Moisture Meter
Like the XLUX T10 model, the reading scale is also in the 1-10 (the higher the scale, the higher the moisture). The shape is long, ranging from 15-48 inches, allowing the testing more into the ground. This tool can help determine moisture in fruit trees.
Sonkir for Testing Soil Moisture, Light, and pH
It is a hybrid-soil-moisture meter, which does not require batteries. It has three functions, namely testing the pH of the soil, knowing the moisture, and finding the light degree. This product also does not have pinpoint accuracy but is quite useful as the gain-express-pH soil moisture meter.
The great feature of this product is a light detecting sensor. After placing it for a while on the ground, you can find out the intensity of the sunlight at that location so that you can determine the location for planting.
Luster Leaf Digital Moisture Meter
This product is a digital type that only functions as a moisture tester. Although the measurement results are not very accurate, the Luster Leaf is quite adequate for the needs of home gardeners. You will need a battery to use it.
A.M. Leonard Soil Moisture Probe
A.M. Leonard is a digital type that requires a battery for operation. With tiny pulses of electricity, this tool can determine the moisture level of the soil. This product is suitable for composters.
General Tools DSMM500 Soil Moisture Meter
General Tools DSMM500 is a digital-type that has a very accurate measurement level. The price is a little expensive, but you can find out the soil conditions very well and precisely.
Luster Leaf 1835 Rapitest Digital Analyzer
This product is truly multipurpose. Not only to find out the moisture level, but you can also use it to test the soil temperature and the average fertility rate. That way, you can find out whether the land is fertile enough for cultivation.
Unfortunately, the measurement results of the Luster Leaf 1835 are not very accurate, because they only show estimated figures. To find out the exact results, you still have to test soil samples in the lab.
ECOWITT WH0291 Soil Moisture Tester
ECOWITT WH0291 is a digital type instrument that has a waterproof sensor that can measure soil conditions. You can check it via the available LCD. This tool is sufficient to support the agricultural business.
HHCC Xiaomi Smart Monitor
The advantage of this device is a Bluetooth sensor that can be accessed remotely. HHCC Xiaomi is connected to a smartphone and can provide data at any time, even though you are in a remote location because the signal is strong enough.
Among the tools above, the Sustee Aquameter is the best choice for easier reading of data. If the soil conditions are right for watering, the light will turn blue. You do not need to do too much analysis.
However, the above recommendations are relative. The instrument will only be best if its use is right on target. Therefore, it is a good idea to read some of the soil moisture meter reviews before using it as you have to find out which one suits your needs.
After thoroughly discussing the soil moisture meter above, of course, we can conclude how important it is to use this tool for agriculture. Now, you no longer need to figure out when is the right time to water your plants.
Moreover, the function of the tool is not just that. Some instruments have multiple uses so that they can display ground conditions, both indoor and outdoor, very precisely. Of course, this will improve the quality of your plants.