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Choose the Correct Instrument

Have the Correct Equipment

It is no accident that some people have greater success with gardening. Luck and greenfingers has nothing to do with it. Those that have the knowledge and the right equipment are the successful.

Horticultural Instruments and the Climate

Climate is very important for horticulture and is generally considered the effect of temperature and rainfall. These two place significant limitations on the selection of plants that can be grown, and careful consideration must be given to the maximum and minimum temperatures rather than the mean. One bad frost or one hot wind may be the end of a favourite plant. Similarly plants that suit the rainfall of the area must be chosen or the appropriate irrigation system installed.


Most plants prefer an even degree of warmth. 10 to 24C most will do well. Temperate plants 10 to 21C and 24 to 32C for tropical species. A wide variety of thermometers are available.


Water is essential for plant growth. However this must be the correct amount. Many pot plants are killed with kindness ie over-watering. 

Moisture meters are available together with a chart showing the optimum requirements of many plant varieties - perfect for indoor plants. Rain gauges for measuring rainfall in irrigation sprinkler performance available.


Light is vital to plant growth - demands vary. Stems and leaves will bend towards light: known as phototropism, while seedlings should not be exposed to bright sunlight.
Light meters are available with a chart showing the optimum degree of light for a wide variety of plants.


The moisture in the air, expressed as relative humidity. Some plants ie-tropical species require very wet air, while others like quite the opposite.
Humidity meters are available.

Glass/Plastic Houses

The great advantage over outdoor growing is that the effects of the climate described above maybe altered to suit the desired crop or plants. In this case the instruments above are more essential, and even greater attention must be taken of their readings.

Indoor or Conservatory Plants

Similar to the above, but in a domestic situation. Extremely important to be able to judge the inside climate.

Home and Commercial Growers

Home Gardener

Any of the products marketed by Hort Instruments will assist you to achieve the excellence which you know you deserve.
These instruments would be difficult to find all in one shop but here they are just an email away and the prices are all very competitive.

Commercial Grower

Many of the instruments marketed by Hort Instruments are admirably suitable for your use ie.

  • T1 Digitherm
  • S5 Pen soil thermometer
  • S3 Metal sheathed soil thermometer
  • S2 Propagation thermometer
  • S4 Dial thermometer
  • WD2 Asahi wet and dry thermometer
  • RG3 Digital rain gauge
  • MG10 and MG18 Magnifiers
  • DS Digital scales assorted


That person who has everything!

Suggestions from website catalogue:

  • MMH3 Max/min Hygrometer
  • RG3 Rain-O-Matic rain gauge
  • IDOD Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer
  • MG10 or MG18 Magnifiers

If they are keen gardeners just about every item on the website would give them great pleasure.


Many of the products sold by Hort Instruments are used in the vineyard.

The refractometer is imported direct from the manufacturer hence the price is so competitive for such a quality instrument.

Please contact us for a multiple purchase price on all items.

Frost Protection

T1 Digitherm has an audible and visible alarm, which can be used as a warning for an impending frost.

For more information and prices please Contact Us.

MM3 Max/Min Thermometers in many locations around the site are essential for temperature variation knowledge.

Amateur Weathermen

Suggestion one. MMH3 Max/Min Hygrometer

Notes the temps in the home or office--- the ambient and both highs and lows. The flick of a switch displays the same from an outside sensor.. As well as these features the instrument displays the ambient humidity and also records the highs and lows, inside.

Suggestion two. RG3 Rain-O-Matic 4 in 1 rain gauge

Wireless operated with 30m range gives plenty of scope to place collector in an ideal situation with full exposure to the weather. The digital reading is made from the comfort of your home or office. The instrument is self -emptying and not affected by frost or freezing temps. The rainfall from midnight to midnight is automatically recorded, as well as an accumulating total for whatever period you wish. Inside/outside thermometer is included, which also records max/min on both.

Hints for Wine Buffs

Serving Temperatures

Generally red wines are served at room temperature. ie. 14 to 18 degrees C . Some lighter reds ie Pinot Noir may be chilled to 12 C. Whites about 10 C. Chilling will tone down the bouquet and accentuate the acids and tannins.

Sauvignon Blancs, Sparkling, Gewurtztraminer may be chilled to 8 C.

How to achieve these temperatures

Most fridges run at about 6 C
A bottle of wine at room temp - say 17 C
1 hour achieves 13.5 C
2 hours achieves 11.0 C
3 hours achieves 9.0 C
4 hours achieves 8.0 C

Storing after opening a bottle

Air is both a friend and an enemy of wine.
A little helps it develop --- too much will kill it pretty quickly.
Whites die quicker than reds
Cork and into the fridge.
1 day for whites
2 days for reds.

Commercial Vacu Vin work quite well and will add at least another day or two.

Unopened wine does not like to be left in the frig. more than a few days. 2 weeks and the flavour and aroma will become irreversibly deadened.

Storage of Wine

A cellar in most cases can only be dreamed of in modern houses. However a cupboard or wardrobe on the southern side of the house may be the answer. Wines with corks must be stacked on their sides to keep the cork moist and expanded. Ideally your storage area must have a constant cool temp between 6 - 16 C and preferably only varying a couple of degrees.
A max/min thermometer will assist here.

Subdued light.

Vibration free.
Note the cupboard under the stairs, which is often a favourite spot, is NOT suitable in a wooden house.

Those going for honours will endeavour to have a high humidity (70% RH or more) - this keeps the outer end of the cork well expanded. Max/min Thermometer Hygrometers are available.

Always use the correct glasses

The correct glass is the second best way to improve the quality of the wine.

Use the best quality you have and use the correct shape.

Generally a red wine glass will be spherical with a good big bulb, turning back on itself.

A white wine glass is more tulip shaped again turning inwards at the mouth.

A sparkling wine glass is long and fluted, helping to preserve the bubbles for as long as possible.

Never fill the glass more than two thirds full --- the aroma collects in the top third.

Remember than 80% of our taste buds are located in the nose.

Wine Terms

Corked wine is not that bit of the cork that sometimes appears on the first poured glass.
It is a relatively common fault where bacteriologically tainted cork flavours the wine. Gives mouldy aroma and flavour. Roll on metal screw caps!!

Balanced Wine is when all its characteristics work in harmony. None over powering another.

Complex wine has many different qualities often with compounded flavours.
Oxidised-too much exposure to the air. Has an unpleasant caramelised sherry like aroma and flavour.

Short Flavour disappears suddenly in the mouth.

Tannins --- naturally occurring chemical, from the stems and pips (harsh) and the skin (soft). The tannins ripen with the grape. Hard or coarse tannins tend to be more astringent and sting the inside of the mouth. Cellaring often lowers the tannin effect.

Length---- Describes how long the flavours last in the mouth -long - medium - or short.

A Difficult Food Match

What to drink with spicy food? Reds do not go well with Thai or Chinese where there is a mix of dishes of different sweetness, acidity and flavour, and the wine can taste bitter.

Whites which work well include reisling,gewurtztraminer and pinot gris (which are stunning with ginger) and sauvignon blanc. For dishes with coconut milk, unoaked chardonnay is least likely to taste sour.

With Indian food-stick to beer or water!!

Red Wine Stains

As soon as possible dab spot with an absorbent cloth, to suck up the excess. Do not scrub.

Next dab on soda water-or white wine and again suck up the excess. Continue doing this until stain has gone --hopefully.