Sprinklers and Water
Keeping a lawn green throughout the summer can be a challenge. Nobody wants dull, brown grass, but running a sprinkler wastes valuable resources and runs up the water bill. Fortunately, water saving sprinklers are now available on the market to help you save water and money.
Types of Sprinklers
There are three basic types of sprinkler systems, spray, rotor and drip.
Drip systems are quickly gaining popularity. These are often used in closely spaced flower beds or other non-turf settings. A drip system is essentially a long hose or tube that is punctured to allow water to slowly seep out. Drip irrigation systems are good water saving sprinklers. They can be applied to only areas that actually need water, and they don’t waste water spraying areas that don’t need to be sprayed. Drip systems’ application rates are highly adjustable; output can vary from 0.5-0.24 gallons per hour.
Using Water Saving Sprinklers Effectively
Regardless of which type of sprinkler system you choose, if you use your system ineffectively, you will waste water. Follow these tips for efficient water application:
- Frequent light sprinklings do more harm than good. Light sprinklings do not water the soil deeply enough to reach roots.
- Wet soil thoroughly about once a week, allowing water to penetrate about five to six inches down so that it can reach plants’ roots. The soil will retain the water, allowing for less frequent waterings.
- Watering frequently and heavily will drown plants. Soggy soil leads to oxygen deficiency.
- Before reapplying, check the soil to ensure that plants have used most of the moisture in the ground.
Making Sprinkler Systems More Efficient
Regular sprinklers can be converted into water saving sprinklers. Put timers on sprinklers to ensure that they won’t run too long. Replace old sprinkler heads and nozzles with water saving models. Convert all or part of your system into a drip system. Put rain sensors on sprinklers to avoid watering your garden when nature is already providing her own sprinkler system. Using water saving sprinklers doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of the aforementioned equipment is already available at your local lawn and garden store and is reasonably priced.
There are also many lawn alternatives and rainwater systems that can be used to help you save even more money and most importantly water.