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Garden Sprinklers

Thursday, 16 March 2006 | Tags: , , ,

A green and luscious yard comes from keeping your lawn and garden well-watered. Choosing the right sprinkler for the size and shape of your yard can save you time, and water.

The Basics

  • For the average yard, there are four main types of sprinklers:

    • Oscillating, one of the most common, sprays out a fan-shaped curtain of water, while the metal arm oscillates back and forth to cover a rectangular area.

    • Stationary are typically ring-shaped with several holes molded in the top. They’re reasonably priced but the spouts are prone to clogging.

    • Rotary or spinning turn as they deliver water from 2 or 3 watering arms and can cover a small to medium-sized lawn quickly. Some have adjustable tips to change the spray to jet or mist.

    • Pulsating or impulse sprinklers have a single water jet anchored by a ground spike and deliver water in a circular pattern. Versatile and efficient, this sprinkler sprays water relatively close to the ground for better placement.

  • Metal sprinkles hold up a lot better and longer that plastic. Look for brass spouts, best for resisting rust.

  • Check the spray range. For large lawns, get the longest range you can find so you have to move it less.

  • For watering gardens as well as grass, choose a fine, lighter spray sprinkler so as not to damage flowers and shrubs.

Other Considerations

  • If you always forget to water during your allotted watering time as specified by your municipality, a timer can keep your watering on schedule and also prevent over-watering.

TEST CRITERIA

We recruited some serious lawn growers to see which of these sprinklers greened up best:

  • Gardena (6-spray patterns): $20
  • Nelson (oscillating with 3 settings): $24.83
  • Precision (noodle-head): $21.50
  • Orbit SunMate (pulsating): $19.76

Our tests and results include:

Coverage Test

  • The Nelson oscillating and Precision noodle-head each covered about 40 feet

  • The Orbit was unbeatable: great for really big lawns.

Spray Test

  • The Orbit was almost too powerful for the average suburban yard.

  • For a more confined area we liked the Gardenia and Precision for the gardens (flower beds and shrubs).

OUR TOP PICK

For lawn needs, we all agreed that the Nelson oscillating sprinkler was best, providing a gentle rain-like spray and the perfect reach for the average rectangular space.


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