Home          Forum          About Us          Contact Us          User Photo Gallery

»User: »Password:   Remember Me? 
Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Suppliers and Vendors / Soil Probes…How do you check your soil???
Posted:  28 May 2014 00:12  
I got a couple high quality soil probes from
http://coastlivetropicals.com/index.php?main_ ...

I prefer the larger ones… How do you check your soil?
Posted:  30 May 2014 00:49  
We use the small moisture meters for convenience.  They are usually pretty accurate.  We also use the notched aluminum probes, especially for larger containers or plants direct-planted in beds or planters.  But my favorite way is to look at the surface of the medium and lift the pot to see how heavy it is compared to when it's just been watered.
Posted:  07 Aug 2014 09:40  
wow great question and it seems interiorscapers never want to give up they're secrets.. 240 views one answer…. Let me guess from Clem
Those cheap little meters you get at the dime store don't work, they don't read moisture.. don't believe me put it in a glass of distilled water and they read bone dry. We used the professional metal probes back in the day. They stood up to the lava soil and distinguished as professionals. Now i use a wooden dowel but if I had hundreds of plants to look after Id hunt down a quality tool. I thought that was a no brainer industry standard but I'm not sure where to find one…. Really Clem your company uses those lil conductivity meters? even on large specimens?
Posted:  07 Aug 2014 21:13  
I personally use those meters, and while they don't work on 100% of the plants we work on, they are pretty helpful in general.  Sandy soils are a particular issue with these meters.  And to be accurate, the $150.00 meters read pretty much exactly the same in side-by-side trials with the cheap ones.  Their only advantage is the length of the probe is much longer for use on outdoor materials, so they work better for large treeplanters.

If you read the directions on the meter packaging, it tells you never to submerge the meter tip in water.  The meter electrodes read the difference in electrical conductivity between the two different metals in the tip of the probe and translate that to a deflection of the meter needle on the display face.  They are scientific, if inexpensive, and if handled correctly and not banged around too much (breaking the thin wire connections inside the head), they will last a long time and give good service.
Posted:  31 Oct 2014 19:20  
As Clem said, examining the soil surface and lifting the pot are two ways I check for moisture content in a pot.

I also like to use the plastic notched soil probes as well (something like these ones: http://www.urbanplantscapes.com/a-better-way- ... )

I find them to be simple, inexpensive, and portable
Posted:  31 Oct 2014 20:43  
Kay, the notched probes are also good, but I prefer a metal one.  There are two types.  One has straight notches and one has notches that are angled slightly at either end so they hold the soil better when you pull the probe back out of the soil.  Push the probe into the soil on a slight angle to prevent loss of soil when you pull it out (notches on top, of course, to hold the little soil bits).
Posted:  31 Oct 2014 20:57   Last Edited By: PapaNewPro 
I'm glad this topic popped to the top again. We've received some recent feedback on our aluminum soil probes from a larger interiorscaper. We're considering making our aluminum probe a slightly thicker gauge to increase strength and angle the notches a bit to help them pick up more soil. Does anyone have experience with these that can provide additional feedback so we can improve the product?

http://www.newprocontainers.com/soil-sampler- ...
Posted:  28 Jul 2015 00:06  
Quoting Ricky
Those cheap little meters you get at the dime store don't work, they don't read moisture..

I've run into the same problem with the sensors, but on the other end of the spectrum... salinity (i.e. fertilizer) is what affects these bad boys, so essentially, the more there is, the wetter the soil reads, regardless if it is bone dry or not. I finally got this soil moisture meter which works pretty well. It is not affected by salinity (and will actually give a reading in distilled water) and it has been remarkably durable for the 3 years that I have had it. So far have been pretty happy with it. But alas, you can always just stick your finger in the soil to determine if its wet - even though it isn't as technologically cool...
Posted:  28 Jul 2015 16:18  
Many years ago, we used moisture meters...about $65, at the time.  Too many times being dropped meant that they were always being sent away for repairs.  They ended up costing too much in repairs and initial purchase, and they still required you to use your head and think through what they are telling you.

Soil corers are the best choice, but they require the technician to have more knowledge.  Moisture meters were easier for training.
Posted:  28 Jul 2015 20:08  
The meters are handy, but they also can become a crutch.  We had one tech who was killing way too many low-light plants with overwatering.  So I went through the tech's equipment with him and discovered that his aluminum soil probe was shiny as new (never used it) and his moisture meters all read "DRY" no matter what you stuck them into.  He admitted that he frequently dropped the meters on hard floors, and he had been a little bit curious as to why they never read "WET" or "MOIST" even right after he had watered the plant he was checking with the meter.  DUH!  Apparently not curious enough to ask me!
Posted:  06 Aug 2015 08:24  
Check these out!
I ordered one and its by far the strongest probe made… Great tool! well worth the $

http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Soil-Probe-Contai ...
Posted:  06 Aug 2015 15:23  
Ricky, that's almost identical to the one I use.  The handle is a little clunkier on yours, but the business end is the same.  Great tool, unbreakable and can be used in self-defense in a pinch...

Interiorscape.com is sponsored by NewPro Containers    XML RSS 2.0    XML Atom 1.0

Welcome to our Interiorscape forum for Interiorscapers, Vendors, Suppliers, Florists, Interior Designers, Special Event Planners, Educators and Students!

Home         About Us         Contact Us         User Photo Gallery