How to Select
How to Shop for Lawn Sprinklers
Water is one of the most important ingredients to any good lawn. Installing a sprinkler system is probably the most convenient way to water your lawn and avoid dragging hoses around your yard season after season. If you prefer to water at night and early morning, you can set your automatic sprinkler to do it for you so you do not sacrifice your sleep. Also, if you go on a business or holiday trip, you can be certain that your prized lawn will be thoroughly watered (which cannot be guaranteed if someone else is entrusted with this task).
It is important to choose a sprinkler that will cover the area needed and deliver the right amount of water. There are three common types of sprinklers, and each of them has its strengths and weaknesses:
- Fixed sprinklers. Fixed sprinklers are the most basic and least expensive sprinkler option. They shoot water through a set of holes on their top and have no oscillating or revolving parts. Stationary models simply sit in the grass and spew water, while pop-up sprinklers retract to the surface of the ground when not in use and rise to spay water on demand. Fixed sprinklers are best used for watering small areas or in addition to other sprinklers.
- Rotary sprinklers. This type of sprinklers with the best known rotary head being the impact sprinkler has a few spinning arms that send water in one or several directions, usually covering from 20 to 45 feet. They apply water gently and slowly and are especially good for clay soils. Consider them if you live in a windy area, because their large droplets will not be easily deformed by a strong wind.
- Oscillating sprinklers. Oscillating sprinklers are a great choice for a beginning lawn owner. They are inexpensive and can move a spray of water over large, open areas in a rectangular pattern. Their speed is relatively slow, so these models are perfect for clay soils and seedbeds.
- Travelling sprinklers. Much like rotary sprinklers, these units spray water off spinning arms, but while doing so, they move along the hose. These models provide uniform coverage for large areas and are often used to water parklands and sports grounds.
These sprinklers may be used in automatic systems that can be operated without supervision and turned on and off after a set period of time or water, or switched on and off manually. Either way, if chosen and installed carefully, they can bring just the right amount of water where needed and make your terrific looking lawn the envy of your neighbors.