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How do I determine my watering schedule for container plants?

The use of moisture meters for monitoring the watering schedules of plants is a topic of debate among growers. Some rely on these devices to ensure optimal watering conditions, while others prefer the old-fashioned method of using their senses to judge the moisture levels. This article aims to present both perspectives on this issue.

The Benefits of Moisture Meters​

The Rapidtest moisture meter, for instance, is a popular choice for many growers. This battery-free device measures moisture levels accurately, allowing growers to maintain optimal watering schedules for their plants. By using a moisture meter, growers can avoid overwatering or underwatering their plants, which can lead to reduced yields and quality.

Moisture meters, like the Rapidtest, can help growers understand the moisture distribution within the container. This information is essential for maintaining the right moisture levels at different depths, ensuring the plant can access water as needed throughout its growth. In large-scale growing operations, moisture meters can save time and effort by providing accurate readings without having to lift and weigh each container.

The Argument for Using Senses​

On the other hand, some experienced growers argue that using one's senses is more reliable than relying on moisture meters. A grower who knows their plants and system well can gauge the moisture levels through visual and tactile cues, such as the appearance of the leaves or the weight of the container. These growers argue that moisture meters can be inaccurate and easily influenced by factors such as pockets of perlite or contact with the sensor.

Finding a Balance​

While moisture meters can be useful for beginners or large-scale growers, it is essential to recognize their limitations. To maximize the benefits of using a moisture meter, growers should take multiple sample points in each pot to ensure accurate readings. On the other hand, growers who prefer to rely on their senses should constantly assess their plants' needs, as this method requires a deep understanding of the plants and their optimal growing conditions.


Ultimately, the choice of whether to use a moisture meter or rely on one's senses comes down to personal preference and experience. Both methods can be effective in maintaining proper moisture levels and ensuring healthy plant growth. Growers should carefully consider their specific needs and growing conditions to determine the most suitable method for their situation. Regardless of the chosen approach, consistent monitoring and attention to detail are crucial for achieving the best possible results at harvest.
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