Irrigation System – Choosing Type

Q: I want to install a simple irrigation system for my lawn and flower beds. Should I use soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system? Is an oscillating lawn sprinkler any better than an impulse type?

A: Your question is really two separate issues: watering your lawn and watering your flower beds. Choosing a lawn sprinkler boils down to the shape of your lawn: If your lawn is generally rectangular, an oscillating fan sprinkler does fine. If your lawn is irregular, with pockets of turf surrounded by beds and islands, a racheting impact sprinkler is the best choice. Flower and shrub beds can be watered with a drip system or with soaker hoses. Soaker hoses are better for a beginner because they do not require a filter or a pressure regulator. The best watering accessory you can buy is an inexpensive water timer. Available at home improvement stores, the timer can be set to deliver a certain amount of water and then cut itself off. You can set it and forget it.

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