The suitability of capacitance probes for measuring the actual variations in substrate water content in container-grown ornamental species (Lawson cypress) was examined. The probes were installed in the plant containers. Weighing measurement data on water loss was used to assess the actual changes in substrate water content (plant water use). In an additional test, an evaluation of temperature sensitivity of the capacitance probe was performed under laboratory conditions. The probe was placed in a container containing the growing medium (peat substrate) with a defined (stable) moisture content. The substrate temperature was modified and the changes in probe output were recorded. The experiment demonstrated the existence of the effect of temperature on the quality of soil moisture measurements conducted with the capacitance method. The accuracy of the results obtained from measurements with dielectric sensors in relation to the data obtained by means of weighing platforms depended largely on the temperature profile of the measured medium. It was demonstrated that temperature variations explained 99% of the observed differences in the results of moisture content measured with the capacitance method. Due to the fact that there is no possibility of developing universal factors (for different sensors and substrates) for correcting the influence of temperature, this relationship should be defined independently for a given type of crop and the measuring system available.
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