I have three… one for the front yard, one for the back yard & one for the veggie garden. There is no automatic sprinkler on my property & water is precious so before I ever reach for my watering can, I check the soil.
The good news about our blackland is that it’s predominantly clay & clay soil will hold on to moisture for a long time. Most of us stick our finger in the soil to check for dryness but where are those roots?? Unless you have an eight-inch finger, you are not going to find any moisture! Remember in your landscaped beds, the first three inches should be mulch & the next six inches will be where the roots of your plants are. Roots can go even deeper for a lot of our super smart native plants.
For veggie gardens, we usually like to let the first 2 inches dry out before we water those established plants. You may also add a little mulch to the top of the soil. You can use straw, crushed leaves & even a little compost. Usually this layer is pretty thin. So your moisture meter will only go down 2-3 inches.
The moisture meter is great for potted plants as well. Sometimes we love too much & often our potted plants may be getting too much water. The moisture meter will amaze you. Also, don’t forget to use a little mulch to top dress those potted plants.
Lastly, these meters don’t require batteries. There are no fancy electronics. It works as soon as you place it in the ground. You can find them at nurseries & some of the box stores. Happy gardening!