Mrs. Fixit: Sprinklers

July 23, 2008 7:52:50 AM PDT
A sprinkler is important to keep your yard and plants looking great. There are four basic types: rotating, oscillating, stationary and impact. I have some tips to help you choose the one that's right for you.

Figure out the type of soil you have. Sandy soil absorbs water quickly and needs frequent, shallow watering. Clay absorbs water slowly, and has puddles and runoff. It needs more water, less frequently. Loamy soil is a mix of clay, sand and humus and it absorbs water evenly, so it needs even watering.

Stationary sprinklers are great for small, hard to reach areas. They don't generally have a lot of bells and whistle but will do a nice job in a short amount of time.

Oscillating sprinklers are long and have a curved arm that goes back and forth like a fan watering a square or rectangular pattern. These sprinklers give you a good, gentle saturation in a short amount of time.

Rotating sprinklers have several arms that spin around shooting water as they go. These like the oscillating, cover a set area. Some models may have adjustable spray arms to customize your coverage area.

Impact sprinklers are ideal for large lawns. A hammer mechanism shoots jets of water in a circular pattern. These styles can be adjusted to allow for more or less water flow and specific diameters so you can gently water your plantings and use more water for lawns and shrubs. This type is the best choice if you live in a windy area.

A couple of important tips, water in the morning when there is less wind and less evaporation. To conserve on water be sure that your sprinkler isn't hitting your patio or your driveway. I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple.