A Garden Laboratory that Fits in your Pocket Buy Now

Digital Soil Moisture Meter with Light and Temperature Measurement

Light Sensor

Graphical Backlit Display

Ergonomic Rubber Side Grips

Backlit Rubber Keypad

Ambient Temperature Sensor

120cm (4 Ft) Cable

Integrated VH400 Moisture Sensor

Digital Soil Moisture Meter Features

  • Graphical digital display, with LED back light.
  • Includes integrated VH400 soil moisture sensor.
  • Displays moisture, ambient air temperature, and light levels, and displays time.
  • Pocket sized rugged case.
  • Low cost.
  • Easy to use.
  • Not conductivity based, and insensitive to salinity.
  • Probe does not corrode over time.
  • Rugged design for long term use.
  • Long battery life.
  • Precise measurement.
  • Measures volumetric water content (VWC).
  • The probe can be buried and is water proof.
  • Because the probe is slender, it can also be used in smaller house plants without disrupting roots.
  • The USB version can be stream data to a PC, and get firmware upgrades.

Digital Soil Moisture Meter Applications

  • Perfect gift for gardeners in your life.
  • Health and moisture checks of potted plants.
  • Compost management.
  • Irrigation and sprinkler systems.
  • Moisture monitoring of bulk foods.
  • Rain and weather monitoring.
  • Environmental monitoring.
  • Water conservation applications.
  • Fluid level measurements.

Professional Digital Moisture Meter Details

This break through soil moisture meter is for professionals, but is affordable to any hobby gardener.

Moisture, temperature,and light are the three most critical parameters for your plants. The VG-METER-200 measures all 3 of these, and comes in a rugged pocket sized case.

Integrated VH400 Moisture Probe

This meter comes with our highly accurate VH400 soil moisture sensors with a 1.2 meter (4 ft) cable. The VH400 probe is slender so it will not distrupt the root system of your plants. It's also rugged, waterproof and will never corrode. Because it uses transmission line techniques to measure moisture, the VH400 probe is insensitive to soil salinity. Soil moisture results are displayed as a simple percentage (VWC) and ranges from 0 to 100%.

Measures Ambient Temperature

The meter can display ambient temperature either in Celsius or Fahrenheit. The temperature is measured at the hand held unit. The temperature sensor can be calibrated for even greater accuracy.

Are your Plants Getting Enough Light?

Without a light meter, it can be difficult to know if your indoor plants are getting enough light, or if outside shade plants are getting too much light. The VG-METER-200 helps you to figure this out by displaying light levels in Lux, allowing you to either move your plants, or increase the light levels with grow lights.

Rugged Ergonomic design

The hand held enclosure is small enough to fit in a pocket, and has molded rubber sides for a comfortable grip.

The meter can easily be customized using the simple 5 key silcone rubber keypad. For example, using the keypad, you can set the time, and temperature units by selecting options from the menu screen.

Highly Visible Graphical Display

The meter comes with a easy to read graphical display. The home screen displays all 3 measurements with the current time and icons indicating each measurement. For greater visibility, each of the measurements can be viewed exclusively in large format characters, by pressing the left and right keys on the keypad.

Long Battery Life

It runs on 2 AA batteries and because it is so low power, the batteries should last for years, with normal use.

Stream Data to a Computer with the USB Version

The meter comes in two varieties, one with a USB interface and one without. The version with the USB interface, can stream data to a computer through most communication programs such as Termite, Putty. The USB version comes with a micro-USB cable.

Perfect Gift for Loved Ones

The meter makes the perfect gift for any avid gardener for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Because it is not your common gift, your love one will be surprised and feel appreciated and understood.

We Want You to be Happy

Ordering is easy and low risk. Since we build our own products at our factory, all of our products are in stock. When you place your order from our website, it will ship same day from our factory, and you'll have it in your hands in just a couple of days. We ship to nearly EVERY COUNTRY in the world.

If you aren't amazed and delighted by your new VG-METER-200, return it for a refund within 30 days.

Soil Moisture Meter

VG-METER-200 Moisture Meter

Soil Moisture Meter - VWC View

Large Format - Moisture View (VWC)

Soil Moisture Meter - Light View

Large Format - Light View (Lux)

Soil Moisture Meter - Temperature View

Large Format - Temperature View (°C or °F)

"This thing is epic for tuning irrigation cycles. You can literally watch the plants absorb water during a watering event after a forced dry spell. Awesome!

It is fascinating to watch the gentle 0.6 GPH emitters slowly saturate the media from a very low VMC%, raising it quickly, then literally seconds later, watching it drop as the thirsty plants "gorge themselves at the trough", stabilizing and even dropping the VMC% for up to 30 seconds. Truly amazing to watch.

Plants are creatures more amazing than ourselves in many cases. Every year I farm reveals something amazing about them that leaves me gasping in awe of their level of energy processing and speed of reactivity.

As a classically trained engineer it makes me solemnly aware how there are forces that science cannot yet explain, putting them squarely in the category of Magic. Wonderfully humbling :)"

Zach in Buckfield, Maine

Soil Moisture Meter Pricing and Ordering Info

We ship to nearly EVERY COUNTRY on the planet, directly to you from our factory.

99% of orders ship same day.

ORDER INFO
Part Number Description Price Purchase
VG-METER-200-BASIC Professional digital soil moisture meter (no USB) with integrated VH400 sensor. $88.95 Buy Now
VG-METER-200-USB Professional digital soil moisture meter with USB with integrated VH400 sensor. $109.95 Buy Now

Contact us for volume pricing information.

Other Vegetronix Products of Interest

Digital Soil Moisture Meter Videos

Techno Gardener: Soil Moisture Meter and Dead Peas

The Techno Gardener uses the Vegetronix soil moisture meter to figure out why his sugar peas vines are dying.

Techno Gardener: Digital Soil Moisture Meter and Dead Grass

The Techno Gardener uses the Vegetronix digital soil moisture meter to figure out why a patch of his grass is dying.

Soil Moisture Tutorial

The Techno Gardener gives a basic turial on soil moisture,explaining capillary action, gravitational water, water holding capacity, field capacity, plant available water, and wilting point for plants.

Soil Moisture Meter Specifications

VG-METER-200
Batteries 2 AA
Dimensions Enclosure: 2.5cm x 6.4cm x 94 cm (1in x 2.5in x 3.7in)
Operational Temperature -20ºC to 85ºC
Baud Rate 9600, 8 bits, No Parity, 1 stop bits
Sample output rate (USB version) 1 sample/second
Cable Length 1.2 meters (4 ft)

Soil Moisture Meter Operating Manual

To turn the unit on, press the center button.

To scroll up and down through the menu, use the up and down buttons.

To return to the previous menu without saving data, use the left button.

To return to the previous menu and save data, use the center button.

To modify data on a a data input screen use the up and down keys.

The meter has the following menu items available:

  • DISPLAY
    • ON TIME Set the number of minutes for the display to stay on before sleeping. Set to zero for always on.
    • BACKLIGHT Turns on or off the display back light.
    • BATERY Displays the current battery voltage.
    • ORDER Adjust the display order of values. Select the value which you wish to move up or down by pressing the center key, and then use the up and down keys to move it up or down in the list.
  • MOISTURE
    • SHOW Show or disable the moisture level on the main screen.
    • VWC/VOLTS Express the soil moisture reading in VWC (Volumetric Water Content) or in sensor Volts.
  • LIGHT
    • SHOW Show or disable the light level on the main screen.
  • TEMP
    • SHOW Show or disable the temperature on the main screen.
    • UNITS Express the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
    • CALIBRATE Set an Celsius offset or multiplier to fine tune the temperature reading. Note that the calibration coefficients are in Celsius not Fahrenheit. There are two coefficients that you can adjust: a multiplier and an offset. The multiplier coefficient is factory set to 1.00. The offset coefficient, the second number which is preceded with + is normally what you will use to adjust the temperature. We set this coefficient to an approximate temperature. To adjust it use the up and down keys, for each digit. For example, if the current temperature that is displayed on the meter is too high by 1C, then you should lower the coefficient by 1.
  • TIME
    • SHOW Show or disable the current time on the main screen.
    • SET TIME Set the current time.
    • MILITARY Toggle between standard time(am/pm) and military time format.
  • CALIBRATE
    • CALIB DRY Make sure the sensor is dry and that it isn't touching anything. Then press the center button.
    • CALIB WET Fully insert the sensor probe into a container of water. Then press the center button.

USB Commands for USB enabled Soil Moisture Meter

A serial communications program must be used to access the meter. While the meter will work with most any serial communications program, we recommend Termite for Windows and only provide support for it. If you are having difficulties, get it working with termite first, then switch to your desired program.

When you plug a USB Comm device into your computer it will randomly assign a comm port number. To determine which comm port the device has been assigned to do the following:

  1. Open Windows device manager. This can be access through the control pannel.
  2. Plug in the USB device. You should see the device under the tree node labled: "Ports (COM & LPT)"
  3. When you un-plug the USB device, that device should disapear. You now know the correct comm number.
If you are using Windows 10 you may need to download the latest USB driver from Prolific: Prolific - Windows USB Driver Now that you have the correct comm port number for the device, you can setup Termite:
  1. Open the Termite Program.
  2. Push the "Setting" button on the too bar.
  3. Select the comm port that you determined from the steps above.
  4. Set the Baud Rate to 9600.
  5. Data bits should be 8.
  6. Stop bits should be 1.
  7. Parity should be none.
  8. Flow Control should be none.
  9. Under the "Transmitted Text" group box, select "Append CR".
  10. Select Okay to close the Settings box.
  11. The meter should now stream data to the terminal window.

When properly connected data will be displayed in the following format:

Moisture, VWC, light, %, time

0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:03 P 0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:03 P 0,VWC,3,%, 26,C,12:18:04 P 0,VWC,3,%, 27,C,12:18:04 P Make sure that the meter is turned on, by pressing the center button, otherwise the data will not stream. For a volts reading via USB, use the keypad to put the unit in volts mode, as describe above.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Do I have to insert the blade of the probe all the way into the soil?

You may have shallow pots where the blade will only partially be inserted. The meters are calibrated assuming that the blade is fully inserted, however, you can still take a reading even if the probe is only partially inserted into the soil. The soil moisture sensor takes an average reading over the length of the blade. As a rule of thumb, if you insert the blade only half way, then you will get approximately half the reading you would normally get, if you inserted it fully.

2. The meter is not measuring the soil temperature, what's wrong?

The meter measures the ambient air temperature, not soil temperature. There is no temperature sensor in the probe. The temperature sensor is in the hand held display.

3. What are the ideal moisture ranges for my plants?

The right moisture level depends on your soil type and the type of plant you have. The table below will give you approximate values by soil type. You'll notice from the table that water binds most tightly to clay, and on the other extreme that water tends to pour through sand. Because clay binds water so tightly it may also be difficult for the plant to extract the water from clay, as compared to other soil types, such as potting soil with lots of organic matter. For a more complete overview see the Soil Moisture Tutorial video above.

As you gain experience with the meter, you will intuitively be able to figure out what is best for your application.

Aproximate VWC Levels for different Soil Types
Condition Potting Soil Clay Sand
Saturated >50% >60% >15%
Moist 30-50% 40-60% 7-15%
Needs Water 20-30% 30-40% 2-7%
Critically Dry 0-20% 0-30% 0-2%

How to Get Started with Digital Soil Moisture Meters

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