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Rain Sensors, why it is important to have one?

Rainfall shutoff devices are useful to the maintenance of plant health as well as conservation of water resources because they can assist in bypassing scheduled irrigations. Rain sensors are rain shutoff devices that are designed to pause irrigation when there is a significant amount of rainfall. The devices are inexpensive and save water when installed in automatic irrigation systems. They can detect when recent rainfall has supplied sufficient water to the landscape and when irrigation is not needed. In the state of Florida, the law requires that new automatic irrigation systems incorporate rain sensors.

Benefits of the Rain Sensor
Incorporating rain sensors in irrigation systems offer numerous advantages, including saving water and money. The devices interrupt any automatic cycles scheduled after enough accumulation of water has been achieved. Rain sensors provide measured amounts of rainfall that can be used in irrigation decision making. They additionally reduce wear and tear on irrigation systems and are useful in the prevention of issues and plant diseases caused by overwatering.

Maintenance and more information
They are relatively easy to install, and you might not need to hire a professional to install them. To ensure their effectiveness, however, rain sensors should be mounted in open areas such as rooflines or on tall fences where there are no restrictions from sensing rainfall by impediments like awnings and tree limbs. Rain sensors should additionally be mounted higher enough that the irrigation system does not interfere with the device. They do require regular cleaning, especially on their funnels, to remove debris usually created by birds and trees. It is advisable to test run these devices occasionally each year, and should they not function optimally, cleaning, repair, or repositioning might be required. In some cases replacement may be required.

Upcoming Classes
If you want to learn more about this topic and other gardening topics, I encourage you to register and attend the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Series. During the classes, we will be discussing the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles and if you attend four of the nine classes, you will receive a free tree. For registration visit https://ocagriculture.eventbrite.com or email me at epabon5@ufl.edu. In addition to those classes, we are offering Vegetable Garden Classes and Tree Selection and Planting in both English and Spanish.

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