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Can a sprinkler system and drip irrigation be more water efficient than hand watering with the garden hose?

Which is the best way to keep your lawn and garden looking beautiful without wasting water; a sprinkler system, drip irrigation, or the good old garden hose? Using the garden hose is definitely the simplest approach, but you may be surprised to know just how water efficient a properly planned drip irrigation and sprinkler system can be.

Of course, the great advantage of hand watering with the garden hose is that you get to spend time in your beautiful garden. Many people find it a very relaxing weekend activity. If you’re careful, you can monitor and control the amount of water each area of your lawn and garden receives very efficiently.

However, if you understand the irrigation needs of the plants in your garden, taking into account the climate and properties of the soil in your area, and you know a little about the various sprinkler system and drip irrigation products and what they do, you can plan an irrigation system which is just as water efficient, and saves you a lot of time.

Factors to consider when designing a good sprinkler system.

If you’re planning a new garden you’ll increase the efficiency of your water use by placing plants with the same watering needs together. Plants and shrubs have much larger root systems than grass, and only need about half as much watering.

There are several different types of sprinklers to choose from. Spray heads, which pop up out of the ground, are best suited to small flower beds and lawn areas. Rotor heads are the familiar long range shooting sprinklers, which can cover large areas very uniformly. Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the soil around small areas of a plant bed.

There are a number of factors to take into account when setting the timers, including adjusting them for the time of year, and only watering in the morning before sunrise. You should install sensors which can detect when it’s raining, and not allow the sprinkler system to turn on.

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