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Choosing a Good Garden Thermometer
A garden thermometer is a wonderful tool to have in your gardening arsenal. Understanding the best weather conditions for your plants as well as keeping a watchful eye on the temperature outdoors will help you tend your garden properly. In this article, we will talk about the two most common thermometers for a gardener: a typical garden thermometer and a soil thermometer.
A standard garden thermometer is a great tool to help you gauge the temperature in your actual garden. Sure, you could flip on the news, but for those of us who live several miles away from the city our news comes from, the news temperature could vary slightly from the temperature in our actual gardens. Garden thermometers come in a variety of styles, and the one you choose should best reflect the “persona” of your garden. Some styles are very unique and detailed, while others are of a very simple and practical design. The style that you choose may depend a great deal on your preference as well as your budget.
We mention budget because garden thermometers come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, ceramic, metal, and even wood! Each of these has advantages, but you definitely want to make sure that whichever thermometer you pick out is capable of withstanding the elements of nature, as it WILL be placed in a fixed area outdoors. Many can simply be mounted onto the wall of your house, but some are designed as “hanging” thermometers. Some designs hang from or mount to a matching steak that can be driven into the ground. These are brilliant as you can move the thermometer to different areas of the garden to get a better idea of the “in the sun” temperature and the “shade” temperature.
Soil thermometers are just as handy for the involved gardener
This tool allows you to get an accurate temperature reading of the soil. Why would you want to do this? Even though the time of year may be right for planting if the soil is too cold your plant may rot or become diseased before it even gets a chance. Or, say you have imported a plant that requires specific temperatures for planting. To give your plant the best chance of survival, take the temperature of the soil for three days in a row. Has the soil been roughly the same (desirable) temperature each day? If so, it’s a green light on planting!
Choosing a soil thermometer isn’t overly involved, but you do have to consider your uses for it. Do you plant to leave it in the ground for long periods of time? If so, you definitely want to find something weather resistant. This may cost a bit more, but it’s definitely worth the price to know that your thermometer won’t only remain intact when you remove it from the ground after months of outdoor exposure, but it will still give an accurate temperature reading! If you aren’t too fussed about leaving the thermometer in the ground, you will have a variety of thermometers to choose from. Digital thermometers are rising in popularity, plus most are great for both one-time usage and constant outdoor usage. If you aren’t sure whether you will leave your thermometer outside, you are best off buying one capable of that type of usage just in case!
If you are a very eager gardener, you can find soil thermometers that come in “kits” which allow you to take soil samples for various testing. Your demand for a garden or soil thermometer—or both, even—really depends on the level of gardening you intend to perform and whether your plants have specific requirements. If ever you are unsure, seek out the advice from a local plant nursery. They are more than willing to offer help to novice and expert gardeners alike!