To ensure you have the best possible lawn this season, you need to make certain your grass, flowers, shrubbery and trees receive adequate amounts of water. Unless you have time to stand in your yard with a garden hose for hours at a time, installing an automatic sprinkler system is the best option. There are several types of watering systems you can consider. Here’s a handy guide to choosing the right sprinkler for your yard:
Drip Irrigation Systems
Drip Irrigation systems provide plants with smaller amounts of water distributed over an extended period of time. This allows water to penetrate deeper into the soil to a plant’s roots and is an efficient system for shrubs and perennials. Water can be directed to specific plants, which greatly reduces waste.
Soaker hoses allow water to seep slowly into the soil. Tiny holes in the hose allow water to trickle out as needed. These hoses can be placed on top of the ground, slightly buried or concealed by mulch. To avoid water leaking into areas that don’t need it, you can attach regular hose sections in between the soaker hose sections.
Above-Ground Sprinkler Systems
These are most commonly used to irrigate large areas such as lawns. These systems are connected to a hose and the sprinkler may be stationary, oscillating, traveling or rotating. A major downfall to above-ground sprinkler systems is the big potential for forgetting that the water is on. Just one afternoon of forgotten sprinkling can result in a huge water bill, as well as ruined areas where the water has flooded the yard. A second downfall is the snaking of the garden hoses in between the above-ground sprinklers. These are not only unsightly, but when left over time on your lawn, they can kill the grass beneath them, leaving a brown snake pattern on your lawn.
In-Ground Sprinkler Systems
These consist of a network of pipes and channels buried underground, which deliver water to specific areas of your lawn and/or garden. These areas are designated as zones and each zone is connected to a control valve, allowing different zones to be watered at different times and for different periods. All of the control valves are attached to a main control panel. This kind of sprinkler system has sprinkler heads that pop-up to irrigate surrounding areas. This may be the right sprinkler system for you if you like the idea of being able to put your sprinkler system on a timer to avoid water waste. Another big benefit to an in-ground sprinkler system is that the system does not impede ordinary lawn care, such as mowing and fertilizing. Finally, in-ground sprinkler systems are virtually invisible, except for the sprinkler heads when they are at work.