There are many different garden lawn sprinkler systems available to buy today which you can compare by both cost and effectiveness. Here are some key points to consider when choosing your next sprinkler.
An underground garden lawn sprinkler system is every gardeners dream! Unfortunately for most of us the cost of these is just too restrictive. The larger your lot size the more you may be tempted by the ease of an underground system, but of course, the larger your lot size, the more these systems will cost!
So, convenience is the main advantage with these systems – once they’re installed they’re there and ready to use night and day; they can be programmed to come on at any time, including when you’re away on vacation, and they’re unobtrusive too – no unsightly garden hose snaking its way around your lawn!
If you’re looking for convenience, perhaps a travelling lawn sprinkler would be a good idea for you. These cost about a tenth of the price of an underground system and are much easier and cheaper to install because you don’t need a professional to do the job for you. You simply lay out the garden hose along the path you want the sprinkler to take and it slowly follows it, distributing water via a rotary arm as it does. These are a good choice for people who want to turn on the water and leave it for several hours, knowing that their lawn will be fairly comprehensively covered.
Another convenience feature to consider is using a timer.
A timer would work with a standard hose and garden lawn sprinkler, such as a stationary lawn sprinkler. The timer is attached to the faucet and set to turn on and off at whatever time you choose. This is great if you want to water your lawn every day at the same time without any interaction needed from you, but the problem with this is that your lawn will only be watered in the same spot, unless you physically come out and move the sprinkler head! So a certain amount of interaction is still required.
The more basic lawn sprinklers are usually moving ones in so much as they sprinkle water out of a number of holes either on a rotary arm or an oscillating arm which moves back and forth. These are quite good for larger areas, but you will never get a truly even distribution of water and generally they will need to be moved in order to reach other parts of your lawn effectively.
The most basic garden sprinklers are hand-held ones. These are not so good if you have a large lot, though they are good for reaching difficult to get to corners of your lot and for watering flower beds. They are also the cheapest available, so it’s worth having one of theses anyway to use in conjunction with something else.
So when looking for your next garden lawn sprinkler, your budget will probably be the deciding factor for what you decide to buy, but even with a lower budget you can still get convenience and time-saving devices.
Benefits Of Installing a Lawn Sprinkler System
There are many benefits to installing lawn sprinkler systems. It will save you the exertion of having to walk around with the water hose all over your lawn, as well as the time it takes for you to reach every blade of grass.
With your lawn looking so well, it also saves a trip from the local lawn specialists, who would scour your wallet for the green that should be seen both there and in your lawn.
Another main advantage of installing a lawn sprinkler system is that you can trigger it to work on any neighbor’s pets that may like to visit your property for reasons unknown. Just set the sensors to auto-spray, whenever a moving object comes near, and presto! Instant wet pets.
The Process Of How to Install a Lawn Sprinkler System?
So how do you go about installing lawn a sprinkler system? The first thing you need to do is water the soil thoroughly in order to soften it. This should be done a day or two before you want to dig the trenches, and should be quite moist, though not muddy. As you dig the trenches, you’ll want to continue watering the ground to reduce the dust level, to reduce health risks.
You may wish to seriously consider hiring someone to do the trenching for you if have more than 100 feet of trenching to do. In fact, you can frequently hire someone for very little more than the cost of a trencher rental.
If you do decide to do it by hand, the tools you will want to have available are:
* Round point blade shovel
* Square point blade shovel
* Trenching shovel/spade
* Tamper Bar, Pry Bar, Digging Bar
* Landscape rake
* PVC pipe cutter
* Work gloves
* Latex gloves
* Pipe wrench
* Measuring tape
* Riser extractor
* Hack saw
* Wire cutters
* Screw drivers
* Sledge hammer
* Garden hose
* Hose sweeper nozzle
* Trencher machine
The depth of the trench will depend on a number of factors. “Must be your plastic pipe at least 18’’ deep measured from the top of the pipe, to the surface of the soil. This means that if you’re digging a trench, it must be around 20” deep, as it must include the depth of the pipe as well as of the trench itself. If you can’t make the pipe 18” deep, the pipe should be metal, such as copper, brass, or steel.
This is usually required by law, but it simply makes good sense to do so, as you’ll need a pipe that can withstand a bit of abuse, in case it is struck by a shovel when digging for another project, such as planting a shrub. It’s important to note that if you use steel piping, you should wrap it with special protective plastic tape, as even galvanized steel will rust with time. Remember, polyethylene is not legal for use as mainlines in most areas, so consult your hardware salesperson.
Don’t forget that if you live in a climate that experiences freezing temperatures, your sprinkler system must be winterized. This means that precautions must be able to be taken to ensure that water does not freeze in the pipes, sprinkler heads, or emitters.
The best way to assemble the piping is to start at the source of water, and work your way out to the valves, continuing to the end of each lateral. This ensures ideal measurement and layout.
Any wiring should be done with extreme caution. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, you should seriously consider a professional for this part, for the sake of safety, fire prevention, and the overall functioning of your sprinkler system.
Installing a lawn sprinkler system requires patience and accuracy. If you lack these two attributes, it would be better for you to hire a professional.
Protect your lawn sprinkler System: winterize early
It is important to protect your lawn sprinkler system. Winterize as early as possible.
The importance of this process will be appreciated when you consider the enormous damage that will be caused if it is not done. There is always some residual water in your lawn sprinkler system even after it’s been turned off for a long while. If the water is allowed to remain in the pipes during winter, it freezes and causes cracks in the pipes, sprinkler heads and other more expensive parts like your backflow preventer and pressure regulators.
If this unfortunate event happens, then you might have to change your entire lawn sprinkler system. This will obviously cost you some more money which could have been saved if you had taken these precautionary steps I don’t know of any body who wants to change his lawn sprinkler system every planting season not unless there’s an experiment going on.
Please allow me to repeat this for emphasis.
“The high costs of repairing a damaged system or reinstalling a new system can be avoided if you take time to prepare your lawn sprinkler system for the winter.”
The process is simple and it basically involves.
1. Draining all the water from your lawn sprinkler system.
2. Insulating(or removing and storing where possible) important components like the backflow preventer and the sprinkler heads.
3. Turning off your water timer so that the sprinkler system doesn’t accidentally go on during the winter.
Spring Startup Proceedure For Your Lawn Sprinkler System
After the long period of hibernation, it will be unwise to just hook up your lawn sprinkler system again and start watering. There are some recommended preparatory steps that you should take.
Run water through your system for some minutes to flush out debris, and creatures like rodents and may be snakes that might have sought Shelter in the pipes.
When you are satisfied that it is clear, then you can fix up the system and off you go.
Travelling Lawn Sprinkler
A travelling lawn sprinkler is a relatively easy and cheap way to make sure that your lawn gets all the water it needs throughout the summer and looks great!
What’s so good about it? The main two advantages are the ease of use and the cost as compared to the alternatives. An underground irrigation or sprinkler system, for example, is great to use once you have one, but when you consider the cost of installing it and the hassle factor of installing it, this makes them an unattractive solution for many gardeners.
The cheapest way to water your garden is by buying a sprinkler head which simply attaches to your existing garden hose pipe. You would then leave this in one spot for half an hour, then move it to another spot for half an hour and so on. The problem with these is that you’ve got to remember to move them at the correct intervals, otherwise you may find one patch of your lawn turns into a swimming pool! The other drawback with this system is that generally you’ll find it very difficult to be able to cover every patch of grass so you end up with dry patches too.
Once you’ve gone to the expense of installing an underground system you also have the worry and expense of maintaining it too. A traveling lawn sprinkler is far easier to maintain and therefore cheaper too.
How does a travelling sprinkler system work?
The traveling sprinkler system works on the very basic principal of following the path of the garden hose. You basically lay out the garden hose in the path that you want the sprinkler to take and the sprinkler travels slowly along this path, watering as it goes. This means that once you lay out the path you desire you can leave the sprinkler to do its job without having to worry about moving it somewhere else. Of course the added beauty with this is that the path of the garden hose isn’t fixed, i.e. one day you can water one particular way, and the next do something different, because laying out the hose is a fast and easy job.
Admittedly these travelling lawn sprinkler systems are more expensive than a standard garden hose and sprinkler system, but you are paying extra for something that is well made. Whereas many of the common basic garden sprinklers are constructed of plastic, these are generally made of rustproof iron, so they’re sturdy, won’t rust and should last many, many years. Therefore they’re well worth the little extra investment for the convenience of having one.