Tuesday 21 July 2015

How to get the best out of your soil moisture sensors Part 2 (DO)

Following on the theme of what not to do with your soil moisture sensors, below are some gems about the best way we have found to install sensors in the event you need to do it yourself, or need to move a sensor.  Remember most of the sensors that are installed are sampling small volumes and only a few cm from the sensor itself and require “perfect” contact with the soil and must be measuring the crop in question.

DO #1
  • Separate topsoil from subsoil so it can be replaced the same way
  • Put soil on tarpaulin so easier and tidier when put back
  • Measure, install, AND RECORD depths of sensor. In this case 10cm to 30cm (root zone)

DO #2

  • Install sensor vertically, i.e. on its edge
  • Where possible into undisturbed soil. In this occasion we made a slot for the sensor to be pushed into. 

DO #3

  • Mark and RECORD where the sensor is located. Marking can be with tiles as shown or something metal buried at 10cm to be found with a metal detector if necessary.
  • The ground will settle over time, so ensure all soil removed is replaced, even if it appears to be too much.
  • Ensure above ground 'bits' are protected from stock (still to be done here) 

In a subsequent blog we will show that the time taken to install your soil moisture sensor properly will produce quicker and more reliable results. For more information on how Hydroservices can help with your soil moisture sensors you can find more information on our website or you can contact us directly. Cheers, Phil