Watering your lawn the proper amount can be nothing more than a guessing game, especially in areas where rain is scarce and water is a precious commodity. Luckily, it's nothing that a little technology can't fix.
Irrigation gadgets help you determine how much moisture is currently in your soil and how much rainwater is contributing, all while adjusting the watering schedule to fit the needs of your landscape. Better yet, there are different options to fit your budget and gardening needs.
At the higher end of the three models, the weather-based irrigation controller is installed on an outside wall to record the amount of rainfall your lawn is receiving. Then, after taking into account your home’s sprinkler type, sun exposure, level of slope and the type of plants you’re caring for, the controller determines how much additional watering is needed. It is then able to adjust the watering schedule accordingly. $676 for this bad boy, but for those serious about lawn care, it’s worth every penny.
Now for something a bit simpler and far less expensive. The wireless rain and freeze sensor is mounted to a gutter, fence or wall, and stops unnecessary watering by detecting the onset of a rainstorm or a sudden drop in temperature. Based on the weather conditions, the sensor will change the watering schedule. This one rings in at $99. Here’s a model we like by RainBird.
Fitting in right in the middle is the soil moisture and sensor kit. For this model, the sensor can be installed in the ground while the controller is mounted by the irrigation system’s timer. The sensor is able to detect the amount of moisture in the soil, which it then relays to the controller every 10 minutes. The controller adjusts the watering schedule based on this information. A reasonable $120-$180 for this smart gadget.
It’s not a matter of if you’ll make back the cost of these gadgets in lower water bills; it’s a question of when. Is it all worth it? Absolutely.
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