Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Superintendents Tool Box: Soil Moisture Meter
NCC GreensSaturday, June 4, 2011 0 comments

I have gotten several questions from people who have seen me using this tool, and I am sure there are many others who were wondering but never asked.  This is a soil moisture meter that measures the moisture content as a percent by volume of the soil.  We have used this religiously over the past few years to better manage our irrigation applications with the hope of providing the most consistent conditions possible.

The two probes are inserted into the soil to get a reading.  The meter works by using TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) to measure the time it takes for electrical current to travel between the two probes.  Because water is a good conductor of electricity, the amount of moisture in the soil can be measured.

The display on the meter shows a summary of the readings that have been taken.

VMWC%=13.4 - is the reading that was taken at a specific point

N004 - tells how many readings have been taken (4 readings).

A=13.8 - is the average of the 4 readings that have been taken.

The readings are logged into the meter and then downloaded and saved into an Excel spreadsheet where we can monitor which areas are wet or dry.  The Excel spreadsheet will also display a graph of the readings for the day.

This has become a very important tool in our tool box.  There is a large amount of information we have been able to collect from the data we have gathered.  We are feel certain we will only get better at providing more consistent playing surfaces as we continue to use this tool.
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