The Q&A Archives: Moisture Gauge

Question: This winter I installed an irrigation system. Now that it is up and running, I need a way to gauge if my turf and plants are getting the proper amount of water in each zone. Is there a gauge on the market which can be used to determine this? I did purchase one at a hardware store but found it to be unreliable.

Answer: I use a simple soil probe to determine how deeply water is reaching. Use any long, sharp, pointed piece of metal or wood. Push it in the ground. It will move easily through moist soil, and stop where the soil is dry and hard. Asa general rule of thumb, trees and shrubs should be watered to a depth of 2-3 feet; turf, 4-6 inches, annuals, 12-18 inches. It's not fancy, but I find that it works well!

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