[en] We have developed a generalized frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) technique for soil characterization that is based on an electromagnetic model decoupling the cable and probe head from the ground using frequency-dependent reflection and transmission transfer functions. The FDR model represents an exact solution of Maxwell’s equations for wave propagation in one-dimensional multilayered media. The benefit of the decoupling is that the FDR probe can be fully described by its characteristic transfer functions, which are determined using only a few measurements. The soil properties are retrieved after removing the probe effects from the raw FDR data by iteratively inverting a global reflection coefficient. The proposed method was validated under laboratory conditions for measurements in water with different salt concentrations and sand with different water contents. For the salt water, inversions of the data led to dielectric permittivity and electrical conductivity values very close to the expected theoretical or measured values. In the frequency range for which the probe is efficient, a good agreement was obtained between measured, inverted and theoretically predicted signals. For the sand, results were consistent with the different water contents and also in close agreement with traditional time domain reflectometry measurements. The proposed method offers great promise for accurate soil electrical characterization because it inherently permits maximization of the information that can be retrieved from the FDR data and shows a high practicability.