Soil Moisture Sensors
Soil moisture sensor (SMS) controllers measure soil moisture content where it is most vital to plants – the active root zone.
SMS systems connect to conventional irrigation time clocks and check soil moisture content prior to scheduled irrigation events. If the SMS controller determines that soil moisture content is sufficient, the irrigation cycle is bypassed. This allows SMS controllers to not only bypass irrigation during rainy periods but also to minimize irrigation when plants do not require additional water.
A properly working SMS controller does not stress plants or decrease turfgrass quality because it allows the irrigation system to apply the amount of water actually needed to meet plant water requirements.
To take full advantage of the water-savings offered by the use of a soil moisture sensor system, a variance that allows irrigation during otherwise restricted irrigation windows is required. SMS variances for locations within the City of Tampa water service area are provided by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
A soil moisture sensor can be used in place of a conventional rain sensor. Compare them to decide which is best for you?