Soil Temperatures: I can’t get that wrong, can I?

My remote soil probes are up and running and my perceptions on things are changing already.

Soil probe data

Soil temperature and Moisture content

Push up green more variable than sand construction???

Looking at the temperature soil graph you can begin to see the 2nd green (which is a push up) is showing more fluctuation than the 18th (a sand construction). During cold periods its sitting colder and during a warm period it’s sitting warmer. This is counter-intuitive to my expectations.

Sand green wetter than soil green???

OK – it’s not much but clearly the 18th green is sitting slightly wetter than the 2nd by 2% – 3%. Not a game changer but how will this pan out during wetter periods and times of higher ET rates? Or have we just picked a dry area of a push up green and a wetter area of a sand green?

Soil temperatures aren’t very stable???

I’ve always been taught that soil is an insulator and the temperatures fluctuate slowly. This possible misinformation has been compounded over the years by my religious attempt to stick a thermometer in the soil and take the figure I get as a figure for the day. Actually, this newer data is showing me that soil temps parallel the air temperature much closer than I thought.

Air temperature and rainfall data

Air temperature

What next?

With this data being recorded regularly we will be armed with more information to:

  • Take playing surfaces through difficult periods of the year
  • Greater understanding of when disease pressure is high
  • reater ability to control the amount of stress imparted on our greens.

It’s important to remember these pieces of data are taken from one point on a green so will not replace traditional data gathering methods but will give us a huge amount of information to complement the existing information that no matter how much we wanted to just couldn’t be gathered.

How we set them up

These probes were set into the ground with the probes at 50mm, the aerial needs to point towards the transmitter with is connected to a 240v mains supply. We’ve found that around 75 metres is the limit without a repeater (which can be easily added)

Soil probe summary:

These soil probes are made by soil scout and distributed by AScommunications. Nathan at ASCommunications has been really helpful in getting these set up for us and can be contacted on

These probes update every 20 minutes sending the data into the cloud. This information can give us a much greater understanding of the conditions in our soils. SOILSCOUT presentation

5 thoughts on “Soil Temperatures: I can’t get that wrong, can I?

  1. Absolutely great to see your stuff! I wonder how high the receiving antenna has been set if the distance is only 75 metres? We’ve measured more than 750m ranges with 12m antenna height.

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