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Watering Plants and Grass

Top 5 Benefits of Measuring Rainfall Totals at Your Home

The rainfall amounts in your neighborhood matter more than you might think -- especially if you have a lot of outdoor hobbies or maintain a garden at home. Local weather channels and websites can provide a general idea of the rain in your area, but often those measurements are recorded 10 or 20 miles from your location. Many people need more accurate information than that. Monitoring the rainfall totals directly at your home can be beneficial in keeping your yard healthy as well as help you plan your activities for the day.

A simple and easy tool you can use to help measure and keep track of precipitation at your exact location is a rain gauge. Here are some of the major benefits to using a rain gauge at your home.

1. Keeping Your Plants and Grass Well-Watered

Rainfall totals matter most when you're trying to keep your lawn and garden healthy. Too much or too little water can cause issues for your yard. Using a rain gauge to measure precipitation can take the guesswork out of deciding how much to water your plants between rainfalls. It will also help you determine whether you should use sprinklers to water your lawn as well as measure how much water your plants are getting from the sprinklers, preventing you from wasting water and money, or from over saturating the ground.

A rain gauge can also help you monitor if your plants and grass are getting too much water if you notice unusually large amounts of rainfall over a period of time. While too little water can cause plants to dry and shrivel, too much water can lead to root problems, diseases, loss of nutrients, more insect problems, or more weeds. If your yard is getting too much water, you could add fill dirt, increase seeding to absorb more water, or adjust the drainage from your gutters to avoid puddles from forming.

2. Identifying Weather Patterns and Trends for Your Neighborhood

Is your neighborhood heading for a drought? Has precipitation been increasing or decreasing? Measuring the weather patterns around your neighborhood can be a fun, interesting hobby and provide conversational material for your family, friends and neighbors. One reason to purchase a rain gauge is simply to satisfy your own curiosity about the environment around you. You can even teach your children about rainfall, why it matters, and what it means when it's trending up or down.

Monitoring rainfall amounts can even help you determine what outdoor activities to plan for the day. For example if there’s been a lot of rain recently, it might not be the best time to go golfing or have your children play outside in a muddy yard.

3. Knowing the Best Times for Planting

Since some plants need more water than others, every type of plant has an ideal rainfall amount for seed germination and to stay healthy throughout the season, with some plants needing more water than others. It's difficult to guess water levels. You may know from looking out the window how long it rained or how hard it rained, but you might not know exactly how much rain has fallen at your home. This is especially true when rainstorms have been erratic or when a rainy season has lasted longer than it should.

By precisely measuring precipitation with a rain gauge, you'll know when it's the right time to plant certain types of flowers, vegetables, fruits, or even trees. You will also know when rainfall amounts are beneath optimal levels, so you can supplement with your own water. This will make it far more likely that your planting will be successful, cutting down on the amount of time you spend on your garden and yielding the best results.

4. Identifying Potential Conditions for Flooding

Monitoring rainfall totals becomes even more important if you're in an area that's prone to flooding. A rain gauge lets you identify potential flooding conditions that could adversely impact your yard and home. If you're seeing unusually high rainfall amounts over a period of time, it could indicate potential flooding for your yard or even inside your home. With the ground fully saturated, the rain will have no choice but to run off, which could cause water to leak into your home, create standing water in your yard, wash away newly planted seeds or fertilizer, or damage your garden. By measuring and tracking the rainfall, you'll be able to stay aware of your environment and prepare appropriately for potential issues.

And you don't need to be in a flood zone to benefit from measuring precipitation at your home. There can be unexpected floods in areas that wouldn't otherwise experience them, especially following droughts and unusually strong or frequent rainstorms. An affordable, easy-to-install rain gauge is a very simple way to track and notice water issues even if you don't think you're likely to encounter them.

5. Getting Better Rainfall Data

Though there are some ways to track rainfall -- such as local weather channels and news websites -- they usually don't have very precise data. Their measurements are often limited to specific regions and geographical locations. They can't measure the area directly around your home, which could be impacted either more or less than where their sensors are located. Your rain gauge will be able to tell you exactly how much rain is falling around your property, even if it may not be raining as much in other cities nearby.

Measuring and tracking rainfall totals at your home is an easy, useful activity that provides many benefits. An affordable rain gauge can arm you with precise, detailed information about the water around your home and it could even be a decorative focal point depending on the style you chose. Homeowners who put a lot of work into their garden or lawn will find a rain gauge almost essential -- but those who are just generally interested in the weather and its trends will also find it an interesting way to fulfill their curiosity.