That is the Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil, Light, PH Tester. To be honest, I still don't understand plant PH (but my soils are usually packaged as balanced for the particular plants), and I've already got the hang of placing my plants in the right lighting. The water though... Yeesh. The only plants I have ever killed have died from over- or under-watering.
Of course, I have read plenty of books and articles on providing the right amount of water to my plants, but the thing is trying to judge how moist or dry they are. I tried using a wooden stick (didn't always work) and I tried using my fingers (I'm squeamish about dirt!).
This meter runs about 11 bucks and I think the plants are worth that much.
When I was looking to choose a meter, I was on the hunt for something around this price, but it would have to actually work. I read reviews for a handful that fit my price range and most had too many negative reviews. The one I was hopeful about after reading about just a few reviews, dropped off after I read a few more. One reviewer did an awesome job of testing the meter on a large variety of plants - both freshly watered and dried out - and he noticed that the moisture meter never fluctuated from "dry" reads.
I tested this one the same way - checking plants that I knew were due for a watering and a couple that I watered about 15 minutes before testing. The reads came out pretty accurate for me. At least, I know that it read moister for the wetter plants and dryer for the one I had not watered.
|If I use the camera's zoom, I can read the meter!|
The plant that I worry most about is my beautiful Monstera. She is thriving and sprouting new greenery by the minute, but her pot is too deep for me to accurately tell when to add water.
This is the Monstera (I call her "Monster") on about May 1st:
This is her June 5th:
|she's sprouting more as I type this|
This soil meter is really going to help me keep on track with watering. Plus, if I have to go away for a few days, my neighbor will be able to use it while she plant-sits for me!
By the way, if any of you Being Free readers need some info on plant watering, here are a couple of useful links: Our House Plants has both a watering guide and a really helpful "hub" of plant info.