Choose the right sprinkler system for you

When it comes to sprinklers two great choices are the rotary sprinkler with a fairly square pattern, and the rotary impact sprinkler with a circular pattern. Which is right for you?

Choose the right sprinkler system for you

Rotary sprinklers

  • A good rotary sprinkler delivers a fairly square pattern and water evenly.
  • Check the box to verify its maximum coverage size. This sprinkler type is suitable for different soil types: you can reduce water volume for slower watering of poorly absorbing, heavy clay soils; or you can increase the volume for faster absorbing sandy or loamy soils. (The goal is to make sure all the water is absorbed, not running away from the lawn or garden.)
  • Reducing water volume reduces coverage, but adds versatility.
  • Your sprinkler will fit smaller flower beds or landscaped areas.
  • Wheels on the sprinkler help make moving it easy.

Rotary impact

  • Your second choice, a rotary impact or pulsating sprinkler, uses a water-driven flapper that hits an anvil and drives the nozzles in a circular pattern.
  • Most models are highly adjustable: you can changing the circle diametre, water a portion of a circle, and change droplet size.
  • You'll have some water waste covering a square area with a larger circle, and coverage isn't as uniform as it is with the rotary sprinkler.
  • However, this type of sprinkler does a good job of keeping water close to the ground, minimizing drift and reducing evaporation.
  • A 1.8-metre-tall (six-foot-tall) pulsating sprinkler is especially useful for large gardens with plants that grow tall enough to interfere with usual sprinkler patterns.
  • Buying an elevated sprinkler is more costly than ground-level models; you can always create your own by elevating a sprinkler onto a platform, or even use a bucket to give your sprinkler enough of a boost so that water clears your tomato vines.
  • Finally, it's smart to measure the amount of water you apply. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your lawn or garden gets 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of rainfall or irrigation per week, wetting the top 7.5 to 12.5 centimetres (three to five inches) of soil.
  • And it's always best to water in the morning, giving plants the rest of the day to dry, to help deter leaf diseases.
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