Parker Memo

thumbnail_IMG_9323

Using a Moisture Meter

Knowing when to water container plants can sometimes be a guessing game. When it comes to my containers I want to be sure that my pots are not too wet or too dry. Using a moisture meter saves water and solves the problem.

The moisture meter I use is from REOTEMP with a 15 inch stem. Most of my pots are large and I need the probe to get down to root level. There are moisture meters for smaller inside pots but look for one that can be calibrated to the type of soil you are using.

Calibrating your meter to a specific soil mix  sounds complicated, but it is not. All of my pots outside have the same potting mix in them so I don’t have to re-calibrate for each pot. If all of your pots are different or you want to use it to see how wet your raised beds are or how wet your compost is it isn’t hard to readjust it. There is a rubber plug on the back of the meter that hides a tiny screw inside the meter. Wet down your soil mix in the pot or bed to optimum wetness. Put the stem in and adjust the tiny screw with a tiny screwdriver to 10 or wet. Put the plug back on. That’s it. I water my plants when the meter shows 2.  It does become tiresome to keep adjusting for different soil mixtures. My advice is to just use one mix in all of your pots. Directions come with each meter to calibrate so don’t worry if this is not making sense. After each probe I wipe down the probe with my hand before using it for the next pot.

Most days I discover that I don’t need to water certain pots at all. This is a real time saver.  Water sensitive plants like Scarlett Curls Willow Salix matsudana x S. alba ‘Scarlet Curls’  are particularly sensitive to soil moisture levels. Last year we had one go totally yellow and loose all it leaves when it got too dry. It did recover with water but it is stressful to the plant to say nothing about what it does to your ego.

If your having issues with watering, try a moisture meter,

Best,

Monika and the Boys