Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Green Garden: The Smart Irrigation Controller

What did you learn today in school*, Jeannie? Well...I learned about something called a "smart irrigation controller." This may sound boring (don't nod so enthusiastically), but it's actually a bit magical. Instead of going out to your irrigation system timer and wondering how much time/how often you should programi it for, this controller sort of does it for you. It monitors on site and self-adjusts the watering schedule for local conditions which it accesses via its little computer. Like a baby that can change its own diaper!

I also found out that there are big rebates coming around the corner for these controlers. Really big ones.

According the Sacramento area Regional Water Authority, "A small lawn of 1,000 square feet area uses about 35,000 gallons per year. Unfortunately many of us over irrigate, typically using 75,000 gallons per year per 1000 square feet." (This means we're overing watering our lawns by 2x!) Check out their site - it has great info for homeowners.

* My Green Gardener Training Program for the Landscape Professional (me)

Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email For more information on our services, click here.


  1. I've read a few tweets about people I follow taking this class and I wish we had something similar in my area.

  2. Very cool! I've been running a water conservation series - so sent readers over here for the tip!

  3. Good study of smart controllers put out by Texas A&M earlier this year. Their conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, all six smart controllers evaluated produced excessive
    irrigation amounts. There are several possible causes of this over-irrigation, which may include
    improper ETo values, and insufficient accounting for rainfall. These results indicate that the use
    of on-site sensors reduces the amount of excess irrigation compared to ET controllers.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, "guys". Our teacher for the irrigation segment gave us a link to what I believe is her favorite ET controller. Go to for the tutorial. Jeannie