The perfect tool for summer in Sacramento: Free moisture meter

Photograph by Markus Spiske

BeWaterSmart offers handy device to have during drought or any time

During the driest year in Sacramento history, soil is getting rock hard, too — especially with cutbacks in irrigation. But how do you know your trees and other favorite plants are getting enough water?

Here is a must-have tool for summer gardening in Sacramento. It’s super-easy to use and will save you money — and your trees. It can save an amazing amount of water, too, while looking adorable.

And the best part: It’s free! But only while the supply lasts. once again is offering free soil moisture meters. Just stick the meter’s metal probe into the ground and it reads the moisture level almost instantly. And the little froggy is very cute while doing this important job. 

BeWaterSmart is sponsored by the Regional Water Authority, the umbrella organization over the Sacramento region’s water providers. The meters are available to any customers of those member water districts and providers.

During triple-digit weather, anything above ground – including us – can dry out quickly. But what about your soil?

“Trying to figure out how much water your yard needs can be a mystery,” says BeWaterSmart. “You might think you can tell just by looking at your plants or by the weather reports, but the best and most accurate way is to check the soil’s moisture level with a moisture meter.”

Even during high heat, soil (especially clay) can retain its moisture. Mulch cuts down on moisture loss. So does shade (such as a tree’s canopy over its roots).

With the meter, probe a few different spots in your garden. (Potted plants, too.) Push the probe 6 to 8 inches into the soil; that’s the root zone. The meter’s dial reads “dry,” “moist” (which is just right) or “wet”; irrigate accordingly.

And if you can’t push it in at all, that area likely needs some deep watering.

For your free moisture meter:

For rebates and other resources:

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