April 17, 2013

April Showers ...

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Rain is essential for gardens, and yet many first-time gardeners don’t realize the dangers that the rainy season can bring. If you’re a gardener who relies on an automatic sprinkler system, then this blog post is for you… pay attention.

Automatic Sprinkler Systems – Automatic systems are great for the busy gardener. Instead of putting aside time to water the garden, the system will turn on automatically. We love automatic sprinkler systems; they’re real plant savers when life gets crazy, and they make it easy to keep gardens and lawns hydrated. There's only one flaw; automatic sprinkler systems don’t have brains. When it rains, the sprinkler system will still turn on. This problem; however, can be fixed… keep reading to find out how.

Rain Sensors – Let us introduce you to the rain sensor. Rain sensors were made to perfect the automatic sprinkler system and will alert the system not to turn on when there is moisture in the air. There are a few reasons it is harmful to water your garden during or shortly after it rains. First, it causes the ground to become over saturated; when this happens, runoff carries essential nutrients out of the soil. This is harmful for your plants. Second, it’s just plain wasteful, economically and financially. What will the neighbors think?

Long Term Investment – The best part about rain sensors is that most of them double as freeze sensors. This is important because most people leave their sprinkler systems on all the way until through the fall. When the temperature first begins to dip at night, most of the plants will survive; however, the problem arises when the sprinkler system kicks on and cold water freezes onto the leaves and stems. This blast of cold water can seriously damage and even kill a garden. A rain and freeze sensor will shut off an automatic sprinkler system if the temperature drops to low, effectively prolonging the life of your garden. 


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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