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Using Gardener Friendly Weather Alarms

Using Gardener Friendly Weather Alarms

We all know Mother Nature rules the roost (and the roots…) when it comes to a flourishing garden. She can decide to dump rain just after you water, or freeze all your squash blossoms in one night. She can decide that seedlings should NOT have been planted today -- perhaps next week would have been better. She can blow your hanging pots right off the veranda. She can turn your little greenhouse into a plant-killing steam room with just a little boost in relative humidity, and your compost pile into a dead zone with a couple of icy nights.

tech-tips-gardening-01What’s a green-thumber to do? One idea is to spend about 25 growing seasons honing your expertise and intuition. But another option is to shorten the learning curve by working with weather data from your Davis Vantage Pro2 or Vantage Vue weather station.

The big three weather parameters gardeners need to keep an eye on are temperature (and dew point), rain and wind speed. When the temperature is too hot, your plants can wilt. Too cold and plants can be threatened by frost. If it rains enough today, you can skip watering and save time (and money on your water bill). Wind gusts can whip leaves off plants and break delicate stems.

We’ve spent more than 30 years perfecting our robust console, which packs an industry-leading level of configuration and alarm settings and have recently built that knowledge into a feature-rich website, WeatherLink.com. Both have the ability to warn you in advance of approaching high winds or low temps. Most importantly, you can get warnings about conditions specific to your garden, right now, not at the nearest airport. In fact, we built many of those alarms with growers in mind, so if you aren’t using them, allow us to give you a gentle push in that direction.

Your Vantage Pro2 or Vantage Vue will be happy to tell you when these conditions occur. You can set alarms to notify you when any of these parameters reach a threshold you select. On your Davis console, simply press the ALARM button to enter the HIGH ALARMS mode (press HI/LOW button to toggle into LOW ALARMS mode), then use the < and > keys to select the parameter you want to watch. Press 2nd then SET keys to set the alarm threshold. Use the + and – keys to change the number and < and > keys to select the next digit. When done simply press the DONE button to save the setting and DONE again to exit ALARM mode.

tech-tips-gardening-02What happens when the threshold is met? Your console will sound an alarm, and you will leap into action to prevent damage to your prized roses and cucumbers.

But what if you are not sitting near your console? That’s where WeatherLink.com comes to the rescue! You can also set a notification and ask WeatherLink 2.0 to send you a text message or email based on your console alarms. Just log on and click on the “wrench” icon under your account image on the right sidebar, choose notifications and pick Daily Summary, Email Notification or Text/SMS Notifications. If you are a Vantage Connect or EnviroMonitor owner, you can set the alarms directly on the web.

Want to become an even more techie-gardener? With the Vantage Pro2 you can incorporate additional sensors (like soil moisture, leaf wetness, and solar radiation sensors) to measure other conditions to really learn what’s going on in the garden.

But, we’ll dig into that in another post… stay tuned.

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