As we head towards the holidays, you're probably thinking more about snow than about watering your lawn. However, if you want to get a jump on things for next year, you really should check out this gadget from Toro:
This device is called the Xtra Smart Precision Soil Moisture Sensor, and it has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of water you use to irrigate your lawn.
While all home irrigation systems should have a rain shut-off device of some kind attached, most of these are triggered by conditions in the air, not the ground. Because of this, one warm day after a rain storm might be all it takes for a rain sensor that relies primarily on evaporation to turn the irrigation system back on. However, the new Toro sensor is measuring the moisture level in the ground, and turning the system on or off based on this.
Think about it--traditionally, rain sensors are placed up high where your irrigation water won't trigger them. So, once the rain sensor allows the system to start running again, it will keep going on your programmed days until the next rain event. In contrast, with the Xtra Smart Sensor placed in an irrigated area of your lawn, it will prevent the system from running until the soil moisture conditions indicate you need irrigation. Only when the sensor indicates water is needed, will the irrigation controller then be allowed to water.
One important note: It is critical that the sensor be installed in an area of the lawn that is representative of the entire system. An example of what not to do would be to locate the sensor in a shady area that always stays wet. Doing this would prevent other areas of the system from ever running.
The new Toro moisture is similar to the ones we have on the golf course, which provide us with valuable real-time information about what is going on in the greens, tees, and fairways. The bottom line is that, when installed and calibrated correctly, this type of device is less likely than a traditional moisture sensor to have the system run when it doesn't need to. Water is saved, money is saved, and your lawn is healthier...it doesn't get much better than that!
So, if you're looking for a great gift for the holidays, this might be something to consider. Like most things, it's available at Amazon.com, or for more information simply click on the link below: