I think my moisture meter is giving me a wrong reading in one specific pot.

The meter reads extremely wet even though if I dig down the soil just feels damp.

Any ideas what would cause this?

The soil is: G&B Organics Potting Soil For Indoor & Outdoor Potting - http://www.kellogggarden.com/products/gborganics/gb-organics-potting-soil/

It is mixed with fertllizer: G&B Organics Citrus & Fruit Tree Fertilizer (8-4-2) - http://www.kellogggarden.com/products/gborganics/fertilizers/citrus-fruit-tree-fertilizer/

  • Are you saying you use the same moisture meter in other pots, but in only one pot does it register too wet?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 13:18
  • Yeah, it seems to work perfectly fine in other pots. But they have different soil types in them
    – Adam Meyer
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


That pot/soil might have an abnormal level of salts; most "moisture meters" are essentially Ohm-meters registering electrical resistance (or conductivity - the inverse, so same thing by another name, really) between the electrodes.

Salts would greatly increase the conductivity/reduce the resistance .vs. a less-salty mixture. Alternatively (perhaps the soil is all the same between pots?), the pot itself could be abnormally conductive...

But it might just be that the original plant (and core soil) in this pot had been somehow rendered salty. Now, if this is the only thing you are fertilizing with "citrus fertilizer" it's possible that acids (or some other component of the fertilizer) rather than salts are what's impacting your conductivity in this pot.

I personally find most of the various electronic meters that are available for gardening to be dubious, at best. And it's a bit expensive to equip your pots with a proper tensiometer that actually measures a "direct" moisture readng, rather than inferring from some electrical parameter than can vary for other reasons.

  • 1
    I never met a "moisture meter" I trusted. They're all too dependent on ionic strength/the dielectric of the soil. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 16:08
  • 1
    That's what I figured. 2 minutes ago I didn't even know what a tensiometer was and now I really want one. 😄
    – Adam Meyer
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 4:12

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