Get Your Soil Moisture Reader
Soil moisture meters are an inexpensive tool that will tell you if your soil is WET, MOIST or DRY. There’s actually a spectrum within each of those classifications. My favorite soil moisture meter is the Dr. Meter. The Dr. Meter also come in a 2-pack which is a good thing. This way you can double check the accuracy periodically, or have an extra one handy if you misplace the other.
A soil moisture meter like Dr. Meter is easy to use and doesn’t require batteries. When you’re thinking about watering your plants, just stick the meter into the soil. A reading will appear after a few moments, so this little device is a real time saver. I recommend you stick it into a few spots. Start by putting the meter in towards the edge of the pot at 12 o’clock, then move to 3 o’clock, then 6 o’clock, and finally 9 o’clock. You can get a reading with the probe 1/2 way down into the soil, and another reading at the bottom of the pot. Then bring the meter in closer to the middle of the soil near the root ball and get additional readings. Use the same 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock process. Don’t worry about harming the plant’s root system if you are only doing this a few times a week.
Soil Moisture Meter Readings
The timing of watering is important. Water when the soil is almost dry, not dry – ALMOST dry!
If the reading is “dry,” it is time to water.
If the reading is “almost dry,” it is time to water. (Don’t water just before putting your plants into dark-time.)
If the reading is “moist” but close to “dry,” it is time to water. “Moist but close to dry” is another way of saying, “almost dry.”
If the reading is “moist” and “wet,” do not water.
If the reading is “moist” but close to “wet,” do not water.
If the reading is “wet,” do not water.
Sometimes, the first inch or two of top soil may be dry, but the rest of the soil is very moist or wet. In this case, I simply spray/mist water onto the topsoil for a short quick soak.
Everyone should learn how to determine when a plant needs to be watered the old fashioned way. However, a soil moisture meter can save you time, give you peace of mind, and ultimately prevent over watering and under watering.
Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
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