An automatic irrigation system is mostly convenient every time. However, when significant rainfall occurs, farmers will see the need of a sensor that knows when to interrupt their watering system. In some countries, there are laws that require the presence of a working sensor in farms and gardens which are equipped with automatic irrigation systems. At the time being, there are two choices of sensors available for farmers: rain sensors and soil moisture sensors.

Generally speaking, both types of sensors have their own pros and cons that worth considering when you need to choose one. Rain sensors are cheaper and easier to install. It costs you only $30-$85 for a working rain sensor, but the charge will be over $100 for a unit of soil moisture one. Installing a rain sensor only means finding a vertical flat surface in your garden with open sky above so the device can have an access to the rainfall. Soil moisture sensors installation, however, consists of more stages, surely involving getting your hand dirty.

Still, after taking many surveys and research, we come to a conclusion that soil moisture sensors are more beneficial than rain ones. Some reasons below may explain the statement.

NO recalibration required

Rain sensors may cost you less, but they require regular recalibration. Otherwise, they won’t working accurately and false shut downs will occur to your sprinkler system. You will find a rain sensor beneficial at first, but will the price justify the need of checking and re-checking?

STEADY working quality

A rain sensor’s capacity will gradually decrease over time. You have to change your rain sensor’s disk expanding material regularly to maintain its best performance. The burden will be lifted completely off your shoulder if you choose a soil moisture sensor for your garden.

MORE water saved

Expensive as they may be, soil moisture sensors can save much more of your water consumption than rain sensors do. Many surveys done by multiple groups of researchers show that soil moisture sensors can save twice as much as rain sensors do during the same time, on the same land and under the same weather conditions.

After seeing all the reasons above, you must realize the better features of soil moisture sensors over old-fashioned, less beneficial rain sensors. Therefore, we’d like to recommend two outstanding devices for your choice.

Dr. Meter Moisture Sensor Hydrometer for Indoor/Outdoor Use

Dr. Meter sensor with its metal stem

Dr. Meter Indoor Outdoor Moisture Meter is one of the most popular soil moisture sensors for lawn, land, etc. The sensor goes with an eight-inch metal stem that penetrates to root level. From the stem, it estimates the amount of water in the soil and determines whether the irrigation system should activate or let the soil have a day to dry out.

The product is sold in a kit of two moisture meters, saving you much money.

The device requires no batteries or electricity and can be used for any kinds of plant. The manufacturer offers customers with ten ranges. Ranges 1-3 are for plants such as Cactus or thick leaves ones that require slightest moist. Ranges 4-7 are for most plants, which requires slightly moist to moist. Ranges 8-10 are for highly water-requiring plants.

With that sleek look, it hardly take space in your garden. The auto recalibration feature also works correctly, according to reports from people who have bought the product.

Compared to other sensors of the same price range, Dr. Meter Indoor Outdoor Moisture Meter proves itself as the most efficient tool in saving water. It is also a smart, helpful gadget in farming.

Rain Bird SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor Kit

The smart look of Rain Bird moisture sensor – Photo credit:

When ordinary rain sensors can only save up to 35% of your monthly water consumption, Rain Bird SMRT-Y Soil Moisture Sensor Kit can help you save at least 40%!

The device possesses such an effective operation. It checks the moisture condition every 10 minutes to detect any dry or overwatered conditions. The part buried in soil receives the detection of any abnormal hints, send them back to a controller, which decides what should be done to deal with it. With the favorable price offered, it is highly recommended for any farmers or amateur gardeners.

In terms of designs, people are often impressed by its smart, reliable look. The designs are a plus point of Rain Bird compared to other sensor producing brands.


With the article above, we sincerely hope that you have found the best soil moisture sensor for your garden. Each device has its own pros and cons. However, sometimes, it’s hard to know the true value of a product if you don’t give it a try. Pick one and we promise you will never have to regret.

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