February 22, 2012

Ways to Water a Lawn

There are many different ways to water a lawn. Most people in the US and UK [and China, right? No?] use an underground irrigation system. But aside from the typical, there is a great majority of people that find other means to water their lawn and plants. Let's go over some of the common as well as not-so-common ways to water a lawn.

"Strictly Business"

Serious gardeners and homeowners don't mess around when it comes to their yard and gardens. For these well-decorated individuals, watering a lawn is more than just turning on the hose and hoping for the best. Business-oriented lawns require watering systems that are carefully planned, designed, tested, and installed.

Underground, Fully Automatic, Irrigation Systems

These sprinkler systems can be pricey, costing upwards of 2,000 dollars! But to some, it's a worthwhile investment for a number of reasons.
  • Terribly Convenient - You don't have to worry about turning them on or off.
  • Effective - Get your whole yard and garden watered without you having to get up and move the hose.
  • Conservative (to some degree) - Unlike hose faucet watering, you don't have to worry about forgetting to shut it off and using the entire city's supply of irrigation water
But not only does it cost thousands of dollars to have an underground sprinkler system installed, they can be expensive to maintain and repair. Make sure it's in the budget before you start laying PVC.

Hose Faucet Watering

An affordable alternative to watering your lawn is with the Garden hose. With a garden hose and the proper attachments, you can water your entire lawn and even your medium-sized garden. You might have to get up every ten minutes and move the dumb thing but you're not forking out thousands of dollars all at once to have an underground irrigation system. So obviously inconvenience is a major draw-back, but hose faucet watering is not all that bad.

Unlike underground sprinkler systems, above-ground sprinkler systems open up a whole new world to lawn watering. You have so many different hose attachments and sprinkler heads to choose from and now, somewhere to begin! Let's get started with the basics.

Hose Faucet Watering Timer

When using your garden hose to water your lawn, the closes you will ever get automatic watering is with a hose faucet watering timer. By connecting your garden hose to a hose faucet watering timer like the Orbit 91213, and then the timer to your hose spigot, your allow your lawn to be watered automatically. On most hose faucet watering timers, you can select the watering start and stop times. Which means the only thing you have to worry about is making sure one section of your lawn is not getting watered more than other areas.

This will be determined by 2 factors:
  1. The size of your lawn
  2. and the hose attachment you choose to water your lawn with
Which brings us to our next section.

Choosing a Lawn Sprinkler

Even if you don't want to spend 20 bucks on an automatic hose faucet watering timer, you still have to decide which sprinkler hose attachment you are going to trust to water your lawn. Do you want the one that shoots straight up in the air? Do you want the one that twirls? Pulsates? Oscillates? Travels? Shoots water out of it's big blue trunk??

Let me help you decide.

Pulsating Sprinklers

If you are the GI-Joe of yard watering, you're going to go with a pulsating sprinkler. Pulsating sprinklers are the most common of garden hose watering attachments and are a great way to water a lawn Choose from the following:
Name Good For: Photo
Oscillating Medium to Large Lawns
oscillating sprinkler
Stationary Small Gardens & Small Lawns
stationary sprinkler
Traveling Lazy People; square and rectangle lawns of any size
traveling sprinkler
Rotary Small and Medium Areas
3 arm rotary sprinkler

Read more comprehensive descriptions an earlier post about Pulsating Sprinklers.

Wild and Crazy Lawn Sprinklers

A great way to water your lawn in the summertime is to use fun hose attachments that your kids will love.

From Beach Ball Sprinklers to Super Spriral Water sprinklers, you can water your lawn and entertain your children and their friends at the same time!

I remember when I was kid, we had a garden hose attachment that looked like a big flower and it sprayed water out of the center of the flower while tipping and twirling in every direction. We would put this crazy water toy under the trampoline so it sprayed water up and through the bottom of the tramp. Water makes trampolines slippery and super fun!

Some fun water sprinklers are:
  • Wigglin Water Snake
  • Little Tikes Super Spiral Sprinkler
  • Little Tikes Beach Ball Sprinkler
So whether you use an underground automatic sprinkler system, a hose faucet watering system, or a Wigglin Water Snake to water your lawn, I hope you have a healthy lawn and a great year!


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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