The Best Soil Moisture Meters in Australia for 2022

Using a Soil Moisture Meter is the best way to make sure that your plants are getting enough water in order to thrive.

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These tools work by measuring how much water is contained within the soil. This moisture level can then be compared against what you know about the plant’s requirements and actions can be taken accordingly.

Below, we’ve rounded up the top soil moisture meters currently available in Australia. Hopefully, this saves you some time researching so you can get back to the garden!

Our top pick: Ecowitt WH51 Soil Moisture Sensor

Pros: Indoor and outdoor, very accurate, can monitor remotely
Cons: Sensor only – needs to be paired with GW1000 or WH0291 to display data.

Why we chose it: Ecowitt is a market leader in weather technology. The WH51 Soil Moisture Sensor is a wireless soil moisture sensor that is extremely accurate and reliable. This sensor is easy to set up and collects data within 72 seconds. Once you add an Ecowitt receiver you can view your soil moisture data in real-time from your smartphone or laptop. This sensor is waterproof up to IP66 standards, which means it will work for indoor and outdoor use.

How it compares: This is by far the most high-tech option on our list. By the time you purchase all the required parts, it will also cost quite a bit more than the manual probes. However, if you want to monitor moisture across a large garden, or you like the idea of collecting moisture data or monitoring remotely, this could be a great option. Also, this probe is almost certainly going to provide the most accurate readings.

Best manual soil meter: Dr Meter S10 Soil Moisture Sensor

Pros: Affordable, no batteries required, easy to use
Cons: Not as durable or reliable as other options

Why we chose it: If you want a cheap, no-fuss option, this is probably your best bet. This is a great little gadget for keeping an eye on your plant’s water needs. It’s affordable, easy to use, portable, and no batteries are required. The single probe is gentle to roots, so you can use it without worrying about damaging your precious plants. It has a simple colour-coded system that lets you know how much moisture is in the soil.

How it compares: This is the cheapest moisture meter in our review and also the most basic in terms of features and functionality. It does, however, deliver on what matters – measuring soil moisture.

Most versatile: 3-in-1 Soil Tester

Pros: Reads pH level and light in addition to moisture, no batteries, easy to use, affordable
Cons: Some people take a while to get accurate pH readings

Why we chose it: This 3-in-1 tester gives you pH level, moisture content, and light readings. It’s accurate and reliable, and it provides this information with double-needle detection technology. The probe is easy to use – just place it into the soil, and read your results on the screen. There are no batteries needed for this device.

How it compares: This is the only product we look at that measures more than just moisture. If the idea of measuring light and soil pH levels is of interest, this could be a good option, otherwise, we’d stick with the Dr Meter tester.

Soil Moisture Meters 101

Soil moisture meters are used to measure the amount of water in the soil. They’re especially useful in agriculture and landscaping, but they can be used for gardening as well.

Soil moisture meters are also called soil probes or soil moisture sensors.

Soil moisture meters do not directly measure water in the soil. Instead, they measure some other attribute of the soil that changes predictably as water content changes.

Soil moisture meters have two metals on their tip, which allow an electrical current to pass through if there is a conductor such as moisture present. The amount of current indicates how much moisture is in the soil.

Types of Soil Moisture Meters

  • Electronic soil moisture meters are generally more accurate than manual ones. However, they are also more expensive and less durable so can be prone to breaking.
  • Manual soil moisture meters are cheaper than their electronic counterparts but they can be less accurate. They’re also portable and durable, which makes them an excellent choice for those who need to measure the moisture in their soils on a frequent basis.
  • Smart moisture meters are digital devices that can be connected by WiFi to a smartphone or computer for controlling and monitoring of the soil moisture level. These smart sensors can be used by farmers, gardeners and other agricultural professionals.

What to Look For When Buying a Soil Moisture Meter

Aside from electronic vs manual, there are several other factors worth considering before purchasing a soil meter, including:

  • Accuracy
  • Probe length
  • Battery life
  • Materials
  • Durability
  • Portability
  • Display size
  • Price
  • Warranty

Scope Length

The length of the scope you choose should be long enough to reach the soil that surrounds the roots of your plants.

Different plants have different root structures, so there is no single perfect length for all soil moisture meters. You will need to consider how far down your plant’s roots grow when choosing a scope length.

Conclusion

Getting the best soil moisture meter for your plants is a great way to make sure your plants are getting just the right amount of water.

It can help you avoid overwatering, which is the cause of many of the most common problems people experience with both indoor and outdoor plants.

We hope this guide helps you find the best product for you and your garden.

FAQ

Are soil moisture meters accurate?

A good quality moisture meter can be used to measure the moisture content of soil a degree of accuracy of less than 0.1%. However, cheaper devices are less likely to have this degree of accuracy. Also, if the soil or the water in the soil is saline, then moisture meters will often give false readings.

Is a soil moisture meter worth it?

Soil moisture meters are not only easy to use but they provide you with essential information for monitoring the soil around your plants. This can tell you when to water or refrain from watering your plants. When you consider that most problems people have when growing plants come from under or over watering, it’s clear that moisture meters are an invaluable tool.

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Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY, and is always up for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking delicious meals from fresh produce picked from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.