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Crew 3-in-1 Water Meter - Light pH and Moisture Soil Meter - Black
Also available in the original Crew 3-in-1 Water Meter in Green, this is the Crew 3-in-1 Water Meter in new colour Black. It combines a soil moisture meter, pH and light meter all in one.
I nicknamed this a 'cheat meter' because it's just that. However I'm not talking exact science here (specialist, super-accurate meters can get very costly, think $100+), so think of this super-affordable tool more as a peace-of-mind back-up for your own senses.
I've given it a good go on my jungle and despite it's super affordable price, they do actually work. Sure, they're not crazy accurate, but still a really good guide, especially to check moisture levels down where it really matters to avoid root rot!
PS: No batteries required, the meter itself is like a battery without water. The 2 probes are 2 different types of metal. When you add an electrolyte (the moisture in the soil), it works like a very weak battery, but with enough 'voltage' for the sensor to read. The less water in the soil the less voltage goes through the meter (so you'd get a reading on the moist to dry side). Pop it in and wait a few minutes for the moisture reading.
How to use
To check soil moisture
Push the switch far left to the MOIST setting. Push the sensors deep enough in the pot to reach the bottom of the plant's root level. Wait a few minutes and the needle will indicate the moisture level.
Results: There are 3 zones: 1 to 3 is the red zone (dry), 4 to 7 is the green zone (moist), and 8 to 10 is the blue zone (wet). Water according to your plants preferences. Getting multiple readings is normal as water won't be evenly distributed, so take a couple of readings.
My tests: This is the most helpful setting and the main reason I got this tool. I tested a range of plants, a few I'd recently watered, and it's pretty accurate. Pay attention to the zone (dry, moist, wet) rather than the exact number though. A couple of plants I know like it on the lightly moist to dry side, and would have watered, it turned out were still wet down at root level - even though they were dry on top - so this is a handy tool if you're not 100% sure and worried about over-watering. I found the probes need to go down at least 10 to 12cms or more for better readings so this wouldn't be my first choice for very small or shallow pots (consider a small Sustee instead for them).
As a light meter
Move the switch to the middle setting above the word LIGHT. There's a small light sensor panel at the front of the meter. Face that towards the light source in the same spot you plan to put your plant.
Results: 0 is Dark. From 200 to 1000 indicates low to medium light. 1,000 to 2,000 is the medium to bright zone (direct sunlight registers over 2,000).
Our tests: The gauge has a range 0 to 2,000 lux but I found that what I'd call medium light areas still register in the dark zone, so allow a bit of leeway with this setting and use it more as a guide. The light sensor is quite a small panel.
As a pH meter
Move to switch to the setting on the right, by the letters PH. Put the sensors quite deep in the soil. Wait a minute or two for the result to show on the pH gauge.
Results: A reading greater than 7 is alkaline, and below 7 is acidic.
Our tests: Most of my plants tested the same, between 6 and 7.5, which is a pretty good range for indoor plants. Again, I got this tool primarily for the moisture meter setting, so wasn't expecting amazing accuracy from this or the light settings. Somewhat accurate, and good to alert you if your soil swings too far acidic or alkaline, which can turn nutrients toxic.
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Normal delivery is 1 to 2 working days. Some regions can take longer, 3 to 4 working days is normally the longest wait, depending on where you're based (I'm based in Auckland).
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