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Thankfully (for me anyway), microchips and remote controls are becoming as popular in the garden as they are in the kitchen, den or even the office. We knew it was only a matter of time and that time is now!
Let's face it. There are more demands on our lives than ever before and the consequence is those demands are cutting into our gardening time. So, what if we could embrace this technology to eliminate some of the maintenance drudgery and make every gardening and landscaping moment pure pleasure?
No...they haven't invented a robotic weeder yet, but there are plenty of other cutting edge devices that are helping us save time, lighten our load and eliminate many of the mysteries of managing our own little corner of the world. Let's take a look at just a few.
Radio controlled watering
This takes remote controlled watering to a whole new level! The latest technology combines the integration of local weather information along with the amount of water loss from evaporation in the soil and transpiration from plants. The combined term is 'evapotranspiration' and the associated technology is setting a new standard in weather-based control of irrigation.
Evapotranspiration (ET) technology sounds complicated but products like The ET ManagerTM by Rain Bird® takes the guesswork out of how much to water. This clever, easy to install device works with virtually any existing irrigation controller. The ET Manager receives current local weather updates hourly via radio signals from monitoring stations. It then uses this information to activate your system only when needed.
Since precise landscape water management is essential to a healthy lawn and garden, the ET Manager can be an effective tool. With the application of this technology, water conservation is a true reality. The ET Manager is also programmable for use in areas with watering restrictions. The only drawback to date is that it is not yet available for use in all parts of the country. http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/controllers/etmanager.htm
Article as appeared on http://www.joegardener.com, May 2007.