169 of 171 people found the following review helpful
Pretty useful; has its limitations,
This review is from: Luster Leaf 1818 Rapitest Mini 4-in-1 Soil Tester (Lawn & Patio)
I've only owned this product a few weeks, but so far, so good. I HAVE noticed that it seems to need to be in SOIL to accurately read (Anecdotally, I have read other reviews for similar products where people complained it wouldn't read for moisture when stuck in water, and so I curiously tried placing this one in a glass of water. It's true. It doesn't always ping to the far end for moisture when you do this, but who cares? It DOES when you place it in heavily saturated soil). I DO recommend pushing the leads deeply in your soil, and to move it around a plant you suspect is not responding well to either its environment or your watering habits. I have noticed, by using this item, that areas around a few of my plants seem to have isolated patches of soil compaction, where they are holding more water. If I'd only done one reading per plant, I would not have gotten a fully accurate reading.
I don't really use the "light" measure, and the fertilizer and pH measure seem to work well. I suspect I will use meter this quite a bit.
***Ammended review***: After having this for some time, I've noticed some issues with it. First, the metal tines are not built for long-term use. In a short period of time, they began to bend every-which-way and now any time I try to insert the device in soil (not even compacted, at that!) they bend in different directions, which makes it quite difficult to get readings!
Also, if you were interested in keeping it inserted in an individual "sick plant" to gauge its progress--or even aid in diagnosis--think again. I've found that, over time, the tines also begin to react to the moisture and minerals in the soil and stop rendering accurate readings. However, I've had other moisture gauges, and as this particular type of gauge goes, this is probably the better one on the market. Hope this helps!
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Initial post: May 15, 2010 8:23:57 PM PDT
M. Shaffer says:
Perhaps you should pre-peirce the soil.
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