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Watering Your Lawn Right - With the Correct Sprinkler Head

Looking for new and efficient ways to water your lawn and garden? You might find what you're looking for is something as simple as good sprinkler heads. Here's a guide to the different sprinkler heads available and what they do.

When picking out a sprinkler head, you have to understand what your options are. There are two basic kinds of heads: spray and rotor. Spray, sometimes called “pop up,” sprinklers typically come up out of the ground when activated. However many spray systems have the sprinkler heads attached to a bar that permanently stands above the grass. For a typical lawn the spray sprinkler systems are great.

The pop up sprinkler heads have what you would call a “high appreciation rate,” meaning that they disperse a lot of water in a short period of time. You can purchase spray heads with different spray patterns. For example you can get the following circle patterns:

  • 1/4 circle

  • 1/3 circle

  • 1/2 circle

  • 2/3 circle

  • 3/4 circle

  • Full circle

As you can see you can customize your sprinkler system to fit your lawn based on the spray heads you purchase. You can also get a variety of square and rectangular spray pattern heads for more spray options.

Rotor sprinkler heads, as you might have guessed, have a “lower application rate.” They shoot out less water, but more evenly across plants and grass. They are great for larger and/or sloping landscapes. This is because the entire area is not watered at one time like a spray head. Instead a rotor head sprinkler will just water one part of the area at one time and then slowly water the entire area. You can also find these sprinklers will have two nozzles. One sprinkler for close up watering and one for far away.

Picture of a pop-up spray head.There is a new style of sprinkler head that is catching on. It’s called the gear-driven pop-up rotary head. They shoot a stream out similar to a rotary head but they have several streams. The gear-driven style has better range than a pop-up but not as good as a rotor head.

There are a bunch of other factors, like sprinkler radius, flow rate, pressure, sprinkler patterns, trajectories, etc, that you'll have to consider when shopping around for the right automatic sprinkler system. But whether or not you choose a rotor or pop up sprinkler head will make a big difference!

This is because application rates matter the most and they are essentially determined by the type of sprinkler head. The key is to not switch up your sprinkler heads. In other words, don't use a rotor head one month and a spray head another. It will only lead to a parched or on the contrary, drowned lawn. It's better to be consistent.

Many people are dutiful about turning their sprinklers on and off, but if they don't have the right sprinkler head installed, they are going to have to go through this cycle over and over again.

Watering your lawn can be an easy task if you have an automatic sprinkler system on your side. However, remember that you should properly program and use it. If you try to ride throughout the year with just one timer setting, you're going to waste water and money. Instead, adjust the timer as the seasons and rainfall patterns change. As well, try to invest in a system that comes with rain sensors – this way the system settings will change on their own, and the sprinklers won't turn on if there has been heavy rainfall.

For more information on watering your lawn, please read this article on reasons to install a lawn sprinkler system.


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