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Rain Gauges Buying Guide

Do you know how much your last rainfall amounted to? Few people can accurately guess the amount of moisture those clouds deposit. Leave it to a rain gauge to do that for you.

Types of Rain Gauges

Types of Rain Gauges

Do you hear the pitter-patter of raindrops on your rooftop? What does that translate to in terms of moisture for your lawn, flowers, trees, shrubs, and garden? The amount of rainfall is an important number to consider for every homeowner. It can affect not only how your plants do but the amount of work you have to put into your yard to keep it in prime condition. The easy, inexpensive way to record rainfall is with a rain gauge -- wedge, digital, cylindrical, or rain/sprinkler combo.

Wedge

Rain gauges are typically differentiated by the openings at the top of the gauge, which determine how water is captured. Wedge rain gauges are wider at the top than at the base; these rain gauges must be read manually.

Digital

Digital rain gauges collect water outside and use an interior sensor to provide accurate readings of moisture accumulation. Some are able to track rainfall weekly, monthly, or yearly.

Cylindrical

As with wedge rain gauges, cylindrical rain gauges must be read manually. However, these are shaped like a cylinder -- the same width at the top and bottom.

Rain/Sprinkler Combo

If you regularly water your lawn or flowerbeds and use irrigation to supplement rainfall, then a rain/sprinkler combo may be worthwhile. A small cylinder collects totals from the sprinkler system, while a larger cylinder measures natural rainfall.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

A rain gauge isn't that complicated -- it's simply a container that measures water. But still, some factors can affect how this very small purchase works, how long it lasts, and how easy it is for you to take note of what it records. Those purchase considerations include mounting hardware/stem, outdoor durability, capacity, visibility, replacement pieces, and decorative elements. This quick overview should help you make the right purchase.

Mounting Hardware/Stem

Many rain gauges stay upright with a pointed stem at the bottom that can be pushed into the ground. Others have a mounting bracket that attaches to a frame or pole.

Outdoor Durability

Many rain gauges are made of inexpensive plastic, which may not be suitable for colder climates. If you intend to leave yours outside in all temperatures, you may want to invest in a version that's more weather-hardy.

Capacity

Most rain gauges can measure several inches at once, which helps if your region regularly receives deluges. Make sure the capacity is adequate for your rainfall.

Visibility

Rain gauges can be found in a variety of sizes; if you want to read yours from inside the house, you will need to find one with measurements large enough to be visible.

Replacement Pieces

Accidents, weather, human nature: All of these factors sometimes result in broken rain gauges. If you have a glass gauge element, make sure it can be easily replaced.

Decorative Elements

Some rain gauges have decorative pieces -- leaves, frogs, etcetera -- that add pretty, naturalistic accents to the garden. Others are designed more as sculpture than simple tools.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale
Evergreen Enterprises
$13.19 $16.49
at Target

Find weather monitoring at Target.com! This decorative frog rain gauge brings smiles even on rainy days. your perfect and practica...l garden friend is crafted of metal and resin with glass gauge. read more

Rain Gauge: Frog Decorative Rain Gauge
La Crosse Technology
$9.20 $13.99
at Sears

Fun design rain gauge measures up to 6 inches of rainfall. Ice cube design with easy mount removal for cleaning.

La Crosse Technology Ice Cube Rain Gauge
Ladybug Garden
$38.99 $49.99
at Wayfair

Ladybug Garden Bird on Branch Rain Gauge Features: -Moss finish.-Hand cast in "Pecan Shell" resin.-Hand finished.-Made in the USA....-Color: Gray.-Distressed: No.-Material: Resin -Material Details: ..-Theme: Animal.-Lighted: No -Bulb Base Type: .-Bulb... read more

Ladybug Garden Bird on Branch Rain Gauge RG84008M
Ladybug Garden
$33.99 $80.52
at Wayfair

Ladybug Garden Snail Rain Gauge Features: -Color: Brick.-Hand cast in "Pecan Shell" resin.-Hand finished.-Made in the USA.-Color: ...Brick.-Distressed: No.-Style: Traditional.-Material: Resin -Material Details: ..-Theme: Animal.-Lighted: No -Bulb Base... read more

Ladybug Garden Snail Rain Gauge 80008B
Ladybug Garden
$33.99 $42.99
at Wayfair

Ladybug Garden Turtle Rain Gauge Features: -Moss finish.-Hand cast in "Pecan Shell" resin.-Hand finished.-Made in the USA.-Color: ...Moss.-Distressed: No.-Material: Resin -Material Details: ..-Theme: Animal.-Lighted: No -Bulb Base Type: .-Bulb Shape:... read more

Ladybug Garden Turtle Rain Gauge RG84015M
Ancient Graffiti
$35.98 $72.98
at Wayfair

Ancient Graffiti Replacement Rain Gauge (Set of 2) Features: -Product Type: Rain gauge and rain chain.-Color: White.-Distressed: N...o.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Gloss Finish: No.-Style: Contemporary.-Number of Items Included: 1.-Weather Resistant: Yes... read more

Ancient Graffiti Replacement Rain Gauge (Set of 2) ANCIENTGL002
Headwind Consumer Products
$28.99 $40.49
at Wayfair

Color: Copper Headwind Consumer Products Decorative EZ Read Rain Gauge Features: -One piece stake included.-Can be read from 35 fe...et away.-Dual mount fence/deck or stake.-Green float.-Patented self sealing plug.-No "O" ring to replace.-Made in the... read more

Headwind Consumer Products Decorative EZ Read Rain Gauge 820-0591 Color: Copper
Arcadia Garden Products
$31.99 $39.99
at Wayfair

Arcadia Garden Products Metal Frog Rain Gauge Features: -Material: Metal.-Important addition to any garden.-Theme: Animal.-Collect...ion: Garden Stakes.-Product Type: Rain gauge and rain chain.-Color: Grey.-Distressed: No.-Powder Coated Finish: No.-Gloss... read more

Arcadia Garden Products Metal Frog Rain Gauge RG01
Headwind Consumer Products
$20.99 $28.99
at Wayfair

Headwind Consumer Products EZ Read Rain Gauge Features: -Bracket and stake included.-Can easily be read from 50 feet away.-Funnel ...and plug.-Bright yellow markings.-Bright orange float.-Patented self sealing plug.-No "O" ring to replace.-5''... read more

Headwind Consumer Products EZ Read Rain Gauge 820-1015
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