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When planning the installation of a sprinkler system, it's important to take several things into consideration: the area you need to cover, your budget, local legal codes, and the type of garden you have.
The cheapest and most common type of sprinkler system is the soaker hose. This consists of a simple hose with holes all along its length. You control the flow of water by turning the faucet on and off. High quality metal tubing is a more sophisticated version of the hose sprinkler system. The tubing is still laid on top of the lawn, but it usually comes with a line water pressure adjuster, automatic timer, and T-joints.
For flat ground and very absorbent soils like sand, a spray sprinkler system may be the best choice. These are available in pop-up models, which come out of the ground at preset times, and fixed models, which are permanently attached to pipes. A rotor head sprinkler system is similar, except that it rotates, which allows for a better distribution of water. It can also reach farther away, so you won't need to install as much piping.
A sprinkler system that is not buried has to be blown out with compressed air at the beginning of each winter to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting. If you live in a cold area, it is a good idea to invest in an underground sprinkler system to prevent problems with frost and to save money in the long run.
Another thing to take into consideration when choosing a sprinkler system is price. A professionally installed underground system can cost up to 2,500 US dollars (USD). Most sprinkler systems also come with yearly maintenance costs, including re-adjustments and repairs. For those on a budget, it is possible to buy a sprinkler system as a do-it-yourself kit. The kits sell for under 1,000 USD, but they may be tricky to put together and require lots of hard work, including digging and bending.
Whatever you choose, make sure to ask lots of questions. The better prepared you are before making your purchase, the longer you will enjoy your sprinkler system without having to worry about problems.
Buying a sprinkler system isn't just great for keeping your lawn green and your plants lovely, it can also be a lot of fun for your kids and their friends.
Sprinklers come in a huge variety of spray patterns and getting a few different ones can create a mini-waterpark for your children. Toss in a slip-and-slide and you can have an entire afternoon of watery fun.
During the summer I don't water the lawn unless the kids can go out and play in the streams. It really kills two birds with one store. It takes care of the chore of maintaining your lawn, and the chore of keeping the kids occupied and having fun during the long summer.
If you are thinking about putting in a sprinkler system with the sole purpose of keeping your grass green and your garden healthy you should also consider water conservation.
There are water efficient sprinkler systems that use a fine mist to give plants the water they need. While this won't soak your lawn, it will provide plenty of moisture for your plants and is more than enough to keep them happy.
Another great thing about a water efficient sprinkler system is that you will also save a lot of money on your water bills.
Water efficient systems are especially good in areas prone to droughts. When water restrictions are in place, mist systems allow you to stay within guidelines.