The Rapitest Moisture Meter is a handy gardening tool manufactured and sold by Luster Leaf Products. It consists of a long, metal soil probe connected via a flexible wire to a readout box. The meter is used to measure how much water is in the soil and can be used in the ground, although it is more commonly used in potted plants. Using the moisture meter helps you give your plants the optimum amount of water.
Take the moisture meter out to the location where you want to determine the moisture levels.
Insert the metal probe into the soil until only the wire is visible. If you are testing the soil in a plant pot, insert it halfway between the plant and the edge of the container and push it down 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down the depth of the pot.
Look at the dial on the control box and wait until the needle stops moving. Make note of the measurement, which will be a number between "1" and "10." Refer to the instructions to determine whether a specific plant needs water based on the readout. In general, readings of "3" through "6" are in the moderate range. Readings under "3" are too dry and those over "6" are too wet.
Remove the probe from the soil by grasping the metal probe top, not the wire. Wipe the probe on a soft towel to remove all moisture and soil.
Repeat the procedure on the opposite side of the plant to determine the reading there as well. Always test multiple areas of the soil, since air pockets can give false readings.
If you are testing the soil in a plant pot larger than 12 inches in diameter, move the probe closer to the plant, approximately 1/3 the distance between it and the pot edge.