The Soil Probe is a simple and very easy-to-use device that will help you determine the quality of your plant watering practices. After you use the soil probe, you will be able to use what you learn to make adjustments that will make your water use more efficient and effective.
The trick to effective watering is to give your plants enough water without giving them too much water. Too little water and the plants wilt and can die; too much water starves the roots of oxygen. The keys to correct watering are:
- Water to the correct depth for the type of plant. When you water too deeply, the water and nutrients in the soil are wasted. Watering to a shallow depth produces poorly developed roots and the plant is not likely to achieve optimum health.
- Water at the appropriate frequency. Too often or not often enough can kill or severely impact the development and health of the plant.
Our Soil Probe is made in the vocational education department of Amphitheater High School, a local Tucson high school, by students learning to weld. All of the money from the sale of these probes is paid to the school.
Use the Soil Probe after watering cycles are complete by pushing the probe into the soil until you meet resistance. Remove the probe and make a note of the depth reached - the metal will be slightly darker where it has met moisture.
If you don't see darkened metal to the proper depth for the plant you need to increase the amount of time you are watering that plant. If you see that your watering is too deep for your plant(s), reduce the amount of time you run the water. Tinker with this until you have reached the proper watering depth.
Different types of plants require different depths of watering. The following are the latest university recommendations for correct watering depths:
- Trees require 24"-36" (3') depth of water
- Shrubs require 18" to 24" depth of water
- Groundcovers, annuals, and vegetables require 8" to 12" depth of water
Environment: Lawns, Orchards & Vineyards, Ornamentals, Outdoors, Vegetable Gardens