How does your garden grow? Thanks to technology you can keep tabs on your yard day and night—from anywhere in the world—on your phone.
On this week’s GLT’s Grow, Mike McCurdy talks to Patrick Murphy about outdoor weather stations and garden cameras.
What They Can Do
Weather stations measure all the basics like temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity. But some more expensive models can do a lot more. With more sophisticated models, gardeners can measure the duration of a weather event, like a thunderstorm, barometer readings, dewpoint, and the amount of sunlight you get in a day.
Why Consider It
These items can be used to save time, money, and even the environment.
Rainfall data can be used to better manage irrigation, fertilization and seasonal events with more efficiency and control. This means less wasted time, effort, materials, and a less negative impact on the environment.
More sophisticated users could even analyze the collected data to predict when a garden will look its best—i.e., the perfect time to invite the neighbors over for a backyard party.
Prices can range from thousands of dollars to under $100; It all depends on the garden size and what the gardener wants to do. Murphy recommends Lacrosse Scientific and Acurite as the two weather station brands with the most features, including software to manage it all. Murphy also said to aim for around $150.
Garden cameras can help ensure you don’t miss it when that favorite flower finally blooms.
But they also have more practical uses—namely, pest control. A camera can show when Japanese beetles arrive or when deer are getting a late-night snack in your garden.
It’s part of a Murph-recommended integrated pest management approach. That’s a scouting technique used to come up with ways to eliminate pests from your garden without using chemicals.
These cameras can be used to know how your garden affects the wildlife around you. While most wildlife won’t cause any issues, they may bring more friends that could cause problems. One rabbit is no big deal, but they might bring their whole family for dinner one day.
Cameras can also be used to help keep track of family pets, stray pets, or that pesky neighbor who wants to pick your tomatoes before you can. They are also added security to deter unwanted guests. Or you could buy them to simply watch the birds at the feeder.
They can be set to motion sensor or timed intervals. Night vision cameras with lights are available. It all depends on what you are willing to spend.
One next week GLT’s Grow, Mike, and Murph will talk about armyworms and other pests you will want to avoid.
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.