Lawn Sprinklers

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Lawn sprinklers come in several configurations that are appropriate for one or more situations found in residential landscaping. Modern sprinkler heads are one of two types, spray or rotary heads, with the choice largely determined by the size of the area to be watered. Expert landscapers know how to select and organize sprinkler systems so yards have good coverage without wasting water.

Spray heads are strategically placed around the lawn and in plant areas, with spacing depending on the water pressure and the specific type of nozzle in the head. These lawn sprinklers are pop-ups that retract when the water is turned off. For areas planted with small shrubs and ground cover, fixed spray heads can be installed on risers so the spray reaches over the plants.

Professionally-Installed Lawn Sprinklers

Exterior landscape designs include provisions for lawn sprinklers, so all the elements of a landscape are fully integrated. For larger areas, professionals will install rotary heads, which are used in open spaces, such as golf courses, estate lawns, and museum grounds. Although some older versions with rotary heads are impact rotors, most modern systems are gear-driven, which are easy to adjust.

As for sprinkler nozzles, they range from misting to spray to rotary, and have varying spray patterns. The critical factor is that the spray pattern must uniformly cover the area to be watered. Zone valves are the mechanical devices that turn the water on and off to individual sections in an area. These valves enable professional landscapers to group plants based on their watering needs--sunny areas versus shady areas, and flowering plants versus lawn. These experts coordinate plantings with irrigation systems so water is applied efficiently and sparingly.

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