We all know that plants can't grow without water. However, overwatering a plant isn't good either, and sometimes it can be a bit tricky knowing when a plant needs more water. Soil moisture meters can help individuals gauge just how moist the soil is to help determine whether the plants need more water. Soil moisture meters also help gardeners learn more about the soil in the garden, such as whether it is retaining enough water or isn't draining properly.
We've put together the following guide to help you select the best soil moisture meter for your specific gardening needs. Take a few minutes to read through our top picks and some key shopping considerations that will allow you to focus your search and land on the perfect product for your garden.
Top 6: Best Soil Moisture Meters
Best Soil Test Kits
This digital soil moisture tester from ECOWIT is our top pick. It is designed to be used both indoors and outdoors on soil in any locations including potted plants, the lawn, or garden. The sensor features a waterproof design.
This model features a digital LCD display that offers a clear and ready to read moisture level reading. The display also includes the time, which can come in handy if you are trying to record your moisture readings. Choose from either 12- or 24-hour time options.
To use, simply ensure the probe into the soil, and the meter will display the reading within just 72 seconds. You can manually calibrate the high and low moisture values to ensure the most accurate readings for different types of soil. 2 AA batteries are required to power the sensor and display panel.
The REOTEMP Garden and Compost Moisture meter is another great option to consider. This model is designed to measure moisture levels for gardening, community programs, and composting.
It features durable construction with a heavy-duty stainless-steel probe. The probe has a diameter of 5/16-inch. Three different stem length options are available: 15, 24, and 36.
Simply place the probe into the soil for an instant and accurate moisture reading. The analog meter displays the moisture level on a range from 1 to 10. You can calibrate the wetness scale to match your specific needs and make sure your plants get exactly what they need.
One AAA battery is all that is required to power this reading; a battery is included with each purchase.
Best Digital PH Meters
The XLUX Soil Moisture Meter is another great option to consider. This probe is designed to deliver both instant and accurate results to help gardeners quickly gain the information they need to take care of their plants. It can be used indoors and outdoors.
This an analog moisture meter that offers a clear and easy to ready scale ranging from 1 to 10 to gauge the moisture level of the soil. Values between 1 and 3 would be considered dry, 4 to 7 would be moist, and 8 to 10 would be wet.
To use this moisture meter, just insert the probe into the soil you want to test and watch for the immediate results. Unlike some other soil moisture meters that have 2 probes, this model is designed with just a single probe. The manufacturer chose this design to minimize hurting plants roots and prevent too much soil from getting dug up when testing the moisture level.
Individuals who would like to be able to test the pH level of the soil in addition to is moisture level should consider the Sonkir Soil pH and Moisture meter. This model can also assess the sunlight level of each plant to provide you with information to ensure you're able to offer the best care possible to the flowers and other plants in a garden.
You'll find that this moisture meter is very easy to use. Simply place the robe about 2 to 4 inches deep in the soil and use the switch to indicate whether you want to check the moisture, pH, and sunlight level. The analog meter on the front will display the desired reading to provide you with the information you need.
This moisture meter has a 2-probe design; one probe senses the moisture level of the soil, while the other senses the pH level. Moisture readings range from 1 to 10, with 1-3 being dry, 4 to 7 being moist, and 8 to 10 being wet. The pH range is from 3.5 to 8.
Best Rooting Hormones
This set of two aquameters from IPPINKA can be left in the soil for constant moisture monitoring. The feature an easy-to-use design, and individuals can simply glance at the stick to see if a plant needs to be water. When the soil is moist, the stick absorbs some of that moisture and turns blue; when the soil is dry and needs to be watered, the stick will be white again.
This set includes two different moisture meters to allow individuals to monitor the soil levels in two separate locations. The simple design does not require any batteries, unlike many other models.
They are best designed to uses with smaller pots between 2 and 3 inches tall. Each stick should last between about 6 and 9 months. The core is replaceable, so you won't need to purchase a whole new stick each time they need to be changed.
The Atree Soil pH Meter also measure the pH value and sunlight intensity in addition to checking for moisture levels. It is designed to be used both indoors and outdoors and offers a compact and easy-to-store design.
This model does not require batteries; it can simply be placed into the soil for quick and accurate results. There are two different probes; one for measuring moisture levels and one for measuring the soil's pH.
To use this moisture meter, insert into the soil about 4 to 6 inches deep (to cover about 2/3 of the probe). Watch for the instant reading. This meter is also very accurate; it is able to sense and changes to the soil, transfer information to the conductor, and show accurate information to help you make decisions to best care for your garden.
There are four different colors available; choose the one that will best match your other gardening supplies. Choose from green, black, yellow, or purple.
Seed Starting Mixes
Soil moisture meters are an essential tool for many gardeners. However, not all soil moisture meters are the same. Use the buying guide below to help you learn more about the different types of meters and some other key features to consider before placing an order.
Types of Moisture Meters
As you start to look closely at the different options on the market, you'll quickly realize that there are a number of different types of moisture meters. Understanding the differences between each type can help you select the type that will be suit your needs.
The types of soil moisture meters include:
When selecting a soil moisture meter, finding one that is accurate should be at the top of your list. You clearly are looking for a moisture meter to learn the moisture level of your soil, and choosing one that does not offer accurate readings will be a waste of money.
Next, look at the design of the display on each moisture meter you're considering. Choose one that offers an easy-to-read display that will give you the information you're looking for in a clear and concise manner.
Some moisture meters also measure other aspects that may provide you with more insight to help your plants grow better and stay healthy. Some of these additional readings may include, pH levels, light levels, or temperature. If these features are important to you, seek out a moisture meter that offers them.
We think all of the soil moisture meters we reviewed above would make a good addition to your garden. However, the ECOWITT Soil Moisture Tester is our top pick. Compared to many other moisture meters that have an analog display, we really like the clear and easy-to-read digital display offered by this meter.
The moisture meter is easy to use; simply insert the probe into the soil and wait a few minutes for the reading to be displayed on the screen. In addition to the reading stating the moisture percentage, the screen also features a flower pot that shows a visual display of the moisture level.
This sensor can be used both indoors and outdoors, making it perfect for all types of gardeners. It also offers the ability to manually calibrate the high and low moisture values to ensure readings are the most accurate for each type of soil.
The ECOWITT Soil Moisture is a top-not option to consider when you're looking for the best product on the market. Add one to your cart today! You'll certainly be glad to have it to help ensure your plants get the right amount of water to grow!
Frequently Asked Questions
While a soil moisture meter isn’t essential, it can definitely be a very valuable tool for gardeners. Soil moisture meters allow gardeners to keep track of how moist or dry their soil is to assess whether their plants need more water. Some soil moisture meters also offer additional information about the pH level or amount of sunlight the plants are getting.
Soil moisture meters are designed to measure the moisture levels in the soil. There are different styles available, but each model features some sort of a gauge to let users know whether the soil is moist, dry, or wet.
The specific style of moisture meter you have will determine how it should be read. Analog moisture meters typically feature a gauge to indicate whether the soil is wet, moist, or dry. Digital meters feature a screen that is easier to read and offers a bit more specific information about the moisture level. Wicking moisture meters can be read by looking at the color of the fabric.
Soil moisture meters gauge the level of moisture in the soil. They are designed to help gardeners determine when their plants need more water to ensure they receive sufficient water to stay alive and thrive. However, they may also be used to help predict weather patterns, since these are tied to the level of moisture in the soil.
Moisture meters typically have two different probes. An electric current can pass through the soil because of these two problems, which allows it to determine the moisture levels. When soil is wetter, more electricity is conducted, and when the soil is very dry, minimal electricity will be conducted.
No, most moisture meters should not be left in the soil between uses. Doing so might damage the moisture meter.