For optimal utilization of the soil moisture sensor in a field, here are some of the best practices you can follow to install the sensor.


  • The soil moisture probe should be buried at the root zone of the plant where soil moisture and temperature readings are required.
  • Also, the probe should be placed horizontally in the soil.

Correct Installation

Probes are installed horizontally, and in the root region/zone of the plant as shown below [1]

Wrong Installation

Sensor probe partially buried and vertically placed in the soil as shown below [1]

  • There should be no air gaps around the buried probe. Ensure the surrounding soil is firmly, but not excessively, packed about the probe for accurate readings.

Wrong Installation

Probe buried with air gaps [1]

Irrigation System

When used in conjunction with an irrigation system, the user should note these additional information [2]:

  • If a single probe is used for the entire farm, the probe should be buried in the driest area of the farm. 
  • The probe should be buried at least 5 feet from irrigation heads, houses, property lines, and driveways.
  • Also, the probe should not be buried in high traffic areas, such as pathways, to avoid excessive packing of soil around the probe.


  1. How to install soil moisture sensors. (2018, August 29).
  2. Dukes, M. D., Shedd, M., and Cardenas-Lailhacar, B. (2009). Smart Irrigation Controllers: How Do Soil Moisture
    Sensor (SMS) Irrigation Controllers Work? Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 3-4.
  3. Soil moisture sensors and irrigation of lawn. (2019, August 3).
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