Watering your lawn and garden is essential if you want them to look good and stay healthy. It should be done routinely so that the water penetrates down deeply and they have a healthy root system. Attractive lawns and gardens need plenty of water, so the early morning or early evening is the best time to water since this is the time of the day evaporation is least to occur.
Different types of watering systems and watering tools work best in specific situation, but you might be overwhelmed by the many choices available. Most of the time your decision will be a simple matter of preference or budget, but you should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of every irrigation system, such as a manual or automatic watering system. You may decide that a combination of both will work for your particular situation, so here are some options for you to consider.
Garden hoses are the simplest way to water all areas of individual plants. There are a variety of garden hose systems to choose among such as hand-held, soaker hoses, oscillating sprinklers, cyclone sprinklers, moving water nozzles and impact sprinklers. They are all designed to operate with household water pressure and standard flow rates. Although it takes more time to water plants in this way, these systems give each plant the ideal amount of water for healthy growth. When using a hand held hose, it’s beneficial to attach a nozzle for directing the flow of water to the plants and reduce the damage to the foliage. The two types of nozzles most commonly used are the breaker nozzle and the misting nozzle.
- Breaker: This attachment is very similar to a bathroom showerhead in the way it releases the water from the hose. It provides sufficient water to the plants at relatively low pressure and prevents damage to the foliage.
- Misting: This attachment is similar to the breaker, but it has fewer holes in the head and the holes are smaller. When the water is pushed through the holes, it creates a misting effect, which is ideal for watering new seedlings.
You can create a customized watering drip system with the soaker hose, which is basically a section of hose with many tiny perforated holes. The water gently seeps out of the hose, watering the soil and plants around it. It is ideal for your raised beds and in-ground gardens. There are no special tools required except a pair of scissor to cut the length of the hose you require to fit the garden beds. The weeping action delivers water right to the roots with minimal loss to evaporation. One drawback is that more water might come out at a heavier rate at the beginning of the hose and less at the end of the hose.
An oscillating sprinkler is often used as a lawn sprinkler or watering system for small gardens. They spray long streams of water back and forth through a perforated bar that stands on a stationary base. Oscillating sprinklers use a rectangular pattern that spreads the water around the sprinkler head and can range in distance from 300 to 1,500 square feet. The rate of application is relative to the water pressure, hose diameter and length. As the pattern becomes more uniform, the sprinkler increases its water distribution rate and quality. It is a simple system to move around and only limited by the length of the attached garden hose.
Like the oscillating sprinkler, the cyclone sprinkler attaches directly to a garden hose. It is designed with a minimum of two perforated, curved arms that spin the water around and attach to a central frame. The water acts like a jet when the water is pushed through the sprinkler holes, causing the water to be delivered in a circular pattern. The sprinkler covers less square footage than an oscillating sprinkler, but the distance covered is determined by water pressure, garden hose diameter and length.
The impact sprinkler is designed for larger properties with a sprinkler head that shoots out a stream of water 20 to 40 feet, depending on water pressure. It is designed with a metal head that rotates around a stationary supply pipe and the head travels slowly in a semi-circle or circular movement. When the stream of water hits the deflector vane on the sprinkler head, it causes the head to spray the water stream. Gravity, or some models with a slight spring, causes the vane to swing back in, impact the head, rotate slightly, and then the cycle repeats again. Some impact sprinkler heads have adjustments on them that spray the water in an arc shape rather than a full circle. This is particularly beneficial for corners and planting area edges in addition to nearby walkways and roads.
Rainbarrels are used for rainwater harvesting. They collect and store fresh rainfall for later use to water your plants and gardens. They are frequently used in many rural settings worldwide and they are making a comeback in urban centres as an additional source of water. Basically, rainwater harvesting systems have the same basic component for water collection for garden irrigation. It consists of a rain barrel placed under the downspout of your home as a catchment area to capture and collect the rainwater. The stored rainfall then passes to a distribution system to move the water from storage to its intended destination, such as the gardens.
In-ground sprinkler systems are the perfect solution for homeowners that want a landscape flush with green grass, healthy trees, and colorful flowers that required minimal maintenance on their part regarding watering their property. In-ground sprinkler systems allow you to have control over your lawn and gardens when temperatures fluctuate from cold and wet, to hot and dry. The irrigation system is an excellent choice for a responsive alternative to hand-held watering systems with a precise responsiveness and water conservation. Typically, you will need a minimum of 30 to 35 pounds per square inch of water pressure and about 10 to 13 gallons per minute to support the installation of a sprinkler system. Before installing in-ground sprinklers on your property, you or your installer with have to check with local utility companies for any buried electrical, cables or gas lines.