Blossom introduces a smaller, less-expensive eight-zone smart irrigation controller

Eight and 12-zone systems optimize water usage by taking weather, vegetation, and landscape design into account.

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Credit: Blossom

Most smart irrigation controllers, such as GreenIQ and Rachio, focus on one aspect of optimizing water usage: they’ll automatically schedule your our sprinklers to operate based on weather forecasts. You can save a good deal of water by letting mother nature handle your irrigation needs when she can.

Blossom’s $200 12-zone controller, and a new $130 eight-zone controller (available for pre-order at a discounted price of $99) do that, too, but take it a step further. The company's Xona technology also takes into account the specific needs of the plants, trees, and shrubs in your yard.

Xona divides your landscape into zones based on the vegetation you've planted. Your thirsty lawn in zone one might require regular watering during dry periods, but your deep-rooted trees in zone two and the drought-resistant shrubs you planted in zone two, served by a drip system, can get by with much less. Program the Blossom app accordingly, and you'll conserve water by providing only the amounts your vegetation really needs to thrive.

“Each one of these zones will have different watering requirements, and Blossom will irrigate based on the type of plants and calculate how long to water based on the type of sprinkler emitter,” a Blossom spokesperson explained. The Blossom app can also factor in obstructions, such as a roof line that might block plants from receiving adequate amounts of natural rainfall.

Blossom claims it can deliver a 30-percent savings on your water bill, which is in line with what we’ve heard from Rachio regarding their own system.

Since Blossom is designed to be installed outdoors, replacing your existing irrigation controller, the company provides an ethernet-over-powerline bridge to supplement its Wi-Fi connectivity. The Blossom enclosure carries an IP54 rating, meaning its internal components are protected from substantial dust incursion and splashing water. 

Why this matters: If you have a smaller landscape, Blossom’s new eight-zone controller sounds like a good deal, and its unique in its ability to take your garden's vegetation into account. Green IQ's six-zone controller is even more sophisticated (it supports several types of sensors and can control your landscape lighting), but it costs $199. Rachio's 16-zone controller supports rain and freeze sensors, but it costs $250, plus $30 if you need the weatherproof enclosure. 

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