How to make a cheap, simple lawn sprinkler system. Lawn watering robot

How to make a cheap, simple lawn sprinkler system

You don’t have to spend thousands just to water your lawn. Here’s how to build an irrigation system on the cheap.

Owning a suburban home has its perks. Having to water your lawn constantly isn’t one of them. You must dedicate multiple hours every week standing behind a garden hose or running a sprinkler. If you don’t, your grass will suffer and weeds will surely invade. Sure, one way to avoid this chore is to drop thousands on an underground irrigation system, but there is another way.

Here’s my quick-and-dirty DIY method that’s actually quite effective, yet costs less than 100. All you’ll need for this lawn-watering setup are an outdoor faucet, a garden hose, a few off-the-shelf parts, and one remarkable sprinkler gadget.

The problem with lawns

Actually there’s not one but many. The biggest obstacle to good lawn health is a lack of regular watering. I noticed this issue with my own lawn during the long, dog days of summer (late July and August) when the weather here in Louisville, Kentucky, is at its hottest, with high humidity, but not enough rain.

It was within these stretches when small sections of my green lawn began to turn brown. While not a sign of true grass death, it did indicate my lawn was under stress and reacting by going dormant. This paves the way for aggressive invaders such as weeds, insects and other parasites.

Since I’m not lucky enough to own a house with a fancy irrigation system, I combated the problem by watering with a cheap oscillating sprinkler. Unfortunately, the limited range forced me to reposition the sprinkler at least twice, sometimes three times a week, in order to effectively cover my entire yard.

Another pain was that unless I rose at the crack of dawn to water, I’d lose much of my efforts to evaporation under the hot daytime sun. Either that or I’d encourage the growth of unpleasant molds and fungus if I ran the sprinkler too close to nightfall.

MacGyver’d lawn irrigation

At the heart of my improvised setup is the 45 Quick-Snap Sprinkler Kit. This unique device is a water-powered, gear-driven rotating sprinkler designed to throw water approximately 40 feet (depending on water pressure). Its aim and swivel are also adjustable to cover lawns of all different dimensions.

To automate watering and eliminate reporting for early-morning sprinkler duty, I chose the 29 Orbit Single Dial Hose Faucet Timer. The gizmo is essentially a water valve linked to a battery-powered electronic timer. While not a Smart appliance in today’s modern parlance (no internet connection or links to networked objects), the timer has enough brains to control my sprinkler on a schedule.

Orbit also makes a truly Smart hose-connected timer, the B-Hyve. but it costs a little more. The basic Bluetooth model will set you back 37, while a B-Hyve kit linked to both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi runs 49. Additionally, Orbit sells its own gear-driven hose sprinkler called the H20-6. It is rated to cover more ground, up to 80 feet. At 19, this gadget cost less than the Quick-Snap. That said, it sits conspicuously above ground, not below it.

The remaining parts of my system consisted of things I already owned, such as standard 25-foot garden hose (with a 5/8-inch diameter) plus a few extra items I found at my local Home Depot, like hose connectors and shut-off valves (3 to 5 each).

The hookup

Connecting all the pieces of my new home-watering system was straightforward. Despite having an exterior water faucet that’s far too low, the result of a repair to a sinking front porch, I had everything up and running in a few hours. I strongly recommend investing in a set of channel-lock pliers and some teflon tape to squash leaks should they appear.

With my hose adapters screwed onto the end of my outdoor faucet, I then tightened the Orbit timer into place. Next in the chain was my garden hose, which I connected to the timer. After that I screwed the Quick-Snap hose connector onto the other end of my garden hose and snapped it into its adapter on the Quick-Snap connector.

Next I chose a spot for the sprinkler, within the soil of a flower bed facing my front lawn, and dug a hole (about 7.5 inches deep by 4 inches across). Then I used the bundled metal key (a screwdriver works, too) to adjust the direction of the water stream and how many degrees of rotation I need. A hollow arrow on the top edge of the sprinkler indicates its direction while a solid arrow tells you how much the sprinkler head will turn (between 90 and 360 degrees). For my purposes I selected a watering arc just under 180 degrees, since my lawn is much wider than it is long.

Finally I set the Orbit Timer on a watering schedule: 6 a.m. for 1 hour, every four days. Then I turned the faucet wide open for a quick test. Once satisfied with my watering zone, I refilled the hole I made with soil, which hides much of the sprinkler from view.

Lawn watering made easier

I have to say I’m impressed with the budget lawn-irrigation system I’ve created. It can’t match the reach and control options a serious high-end solution would offer, since they are professionally installed and tailored to your specific needs. That said, for around one-twentieth the price, I now can water 90 percent of my home’s front yard.- not a bad deal. I can also push the timer’s watering schedule back a few days if it rains sufficiently just by tapping a button.

And while my setup doesn’t reach the edges of my yard, I do have the option of installing up to three additional Quick-Snap sprinklers down the road. These can either be daisy-chained together to function as one unit or used independently when needed. Now if only I could get rid of those stubborn weeds just as easily, but that’s another project.

Get the tips you need to grow a beautiful, healthy garden with CNET’s gardening guide.

The 8 Best Lawn Sprinklers to Keep Your Lawn Hydrated in 2023

Our top pick is the Rain Bird 32ETI In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit because it’s a full lawn irrigation system at a great price.

Emily Estep is a plant biologist and journalist who has worked for a variety of online news and media outlets, writing about and editing topics that range from film and beauty to science and the automobile industry. Her plant biology degree has a FOCUS on sustainable agriculture, and she’s an expert on growing your own food, environmental sciences, and all topics relating to houseplants.

In This Article

The quickest and most efficient way to water the lawn—and to remember to do it regularly—is to set up your yard with one of the best lawn sprinklers. Whether you need one or more will depend on the size of your property, but a good sprinkler system will save you time and energy and keep your lawn in its best condition.

There are several different types of lawn sprinklers available, including traveling, stationary, and telescoping, and some have the ability to rotate and oscillate for better water distribution around the lawn.

Sean Khandker, owner of InsideOut Gardening Services, suggests that the best lawn sprinkler for a medium- to large-sized yard is an irrigation system with pop-up sprinklers. “These sprinklers will, as the name suggests, pop up and water the grass when you set them, then tuck neatly away and out of sight when not in use,” he says.

Best Overall

Rain Bird 32ETI Easy to Install In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit

  • Our top pick for the best lawn sprinkler is a whole irrigation system that can work as well as a professionally-installed one at a fraction of the cost.
  • The tubing needs to be buried under the soil, so you’ll have to get the shovel out and put in a little elbow grease (or call in a gardener or handyman to do it for you).

For a complete irrigation system that is easy to install in minimal time and comes with all the pieces required for setup, look no further than the Rain Bird 32ETI In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit. Getting a professional irrigation system installed can cost anywhere up to 3,000 (or more), but this affordable system is a bargain in comparison.

You might need to call in a little help when setting it up as some digging needs to be done to put the tubing underground, but, once it’s installed, you won’t need to adjust any hoses or sprinklers in your yard again. This system will do all the work for you. The pop-up sprinklers are designed to come up when the water is turned on and retract when not in use, so you can mow the lawn without any obstructions.

Included in the kit are six professional grade pop-up rotary sprinklers, a timer, 125 feet of tubing, extra nozzles for the sprinklers, drain valves, and all the fittings. Each pop-up sprinkler has a 24-foot watering range, and, when set up correctly, the whole system can cover medium-sized lawns of up to 3,000 square feet.

The best part about the set is that it comes with an automatic timer that you can pre-program to water the lawn at the best time of day, whichever day of the week you prefer. The timer has a large display, and it allows you to override a watering session at the touch of a button if it happens to rain on a particular day.

Price at time of publish: 120

Type: In-ground pop-up | Spray Coverage: Up to 3,000 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Rain curtain watering technology | Hose Size: ½-inch, 125 feet long | Water Pressure: 45–75 PSI | Material: ABS plastic

Smart Garden Water Sprinklers #diy #gardensprinklers #smarthome

Best Budget

Petuol Watering Sprinkler System

If you don’t want to spend money on a top-class irrigation kit—perhaps you’re on a budget, might be moving soon, planning to change your yard’s layout, or saving up for a professionally installed system—then this Petuol Sprinkler is the perfect, wallet-friendly interim solution.

With a remarkably low price, the set comes with over 130 pieces to fully equip your lawn with its own irrigation system. It can keep not only your lawn watered but also tend to your flower beds and vegetable patches. There is 100 feet of hose and connections with three- and four-way interfaces that provide accurate watering. As a drip irrigation system, the set delivers hydration directly to plants’ roots and, therefore, is also an ideal solution for those with greenhouses.

Setup is extremely simple, taking around half an hour to complete. The system works best with lower pressures, and its drip system allows you to slowly add water to some of the more delicate plants that don’t do well with force.

Keep in mind that as a budget watering system, it’s not made to last many years; you’ll probably get two to three years out of this kit before signs of wear and tear show up. It also doesn’t come with a timer, so you’ll have to operate it manually. But as a budget option, it gets the job done and is discreet enough to go unnoticed in even the most manicured lawns.

Price at time of publish: 32

Type: In-ground, pop-up | Spray Coverage: 430 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Sprinkle | Hose Size: 5/16-inch and 5/32-inch hoses, 100 feet long | Water Pressure: 25–45 PSI | Material: ABS plastic

Best Traveling

Melnor Traveling Sprinkler

  • It’s great for those who don’t want to install a whole irrigation system but still want a fully watered lawn without having to stand with a hose for hours.

Requiring none of the installation process of a lawn irrigation sprinkler system, this Melnor Traveling Sprinkler is one of the easiest ways to get the whole lawn watered, and you can practically get started as soon as you take it out of the box. It reminds us a little of a robot lawn mower since it moves along on its own with the power of the water from the hose alone.

To direct this traveling sprinkler on where to go, simply create a path for it using your garden hose. The sprinkler will follow the hose, watering the lawn as it goes with a maximum spraying distance of 50 feet. It has large non-slip wheels that provide a lot of traction, enabling it to keep going forward, even on slopes. When it reaches the end of its course, the sprinkler will automatically switch off.

Though its self-propelled operation means you can technically leave the sprinkler unmanned and go about your day, the device could veer off course or tip over on uneven terrain. Therefore, we recommend sticking around while it’s in operation—but you can comfortably enjoy an iced coffee in your lawn chair while keeping an eye on it.

A touch pricier than some other options, this durable little machine is made from cast iron and is sure to last you a long time. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty, too, making it a sound investment.

Price at time of publish: 138

Type: Wheel-base/self-propelled | Spray Coverage: 13,500 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Rotary spray, variable speed control, adjustable spray arms | Hose Size: Hose not included; requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Up to 120 PSI | Material: Cast iron

make, cheap, simple, lawn

Best Oscillating

Aqua Joe Indestructible Oscillating Sprinkler

  • Despite the name, it’s not truly indestructible (for instance, if you have a big dog that likes to chew, the plastic nozzle housing could, in fact, be destroyed).

For lawns of up to 3,600 square feet, this oscillating sprinkler by Aqua Joe is a great pick. Not only is it made of a super-sturdy, durable, and hard-wearing stainless steel, but it also has clog-resistant nozzles so that the water output is always consistently strong. The row of nozzles is housed in a strong plastic that can withstand all weather-related issues, too. The connection is leak-resistant (so as to eliminate water waste), and it’s compatible with any regular garden hose.

It’s ready to use straight from the box and provides customizable coverage patterns, so you can adjust the spray pattern and oscillation, which is very easy to do. Even with a high pressure flow, the sprinkler is heavy enough not to move around on the ground, and it provides a nice wide water spray.

While it does an excellent job of watering the lawn, this oscillating sprinkler can also spray water very high up if you set the nozzles upwards, making for some great outdoor fun for kids to run through on warmer days.

There’s a two-year manufacturer warranty, and it comes with a built-in tool for cleaning the nozzles to ensure the product lasts you as long as possible. This is the 16-inch model, which has a maximum spray width of 37.8 feet, but it also comes in a larger 20-inch version with a wider spray swath of an impressive 63 feet.

Price at time of publish: 22

Type: Oscillating | Spray Coverage: 3,600 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Customizable coverage patterns | Hose Size: Hose not included, requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Up to 120 PSI | Material: Stainless steel

Best Rotating

GrowGreen Rotating Lawn Sprinkler

For hassle-free lawn watering at an affordable price, the GrowGreen Rotating Lawn Sprinkler is extremely easy to use and set up. Just connect it to the hose, place it in the middle of your yard, and turn the water on. The sprinkler is made of a sturdy ABS plastic, which is rust-proof and impact resistant.

The mechanism is designed to provide an even layer of water on the lawn with a powerful spray of up to 3,600 square feet, which means that you don’t have to move it around constantly to get the whole yard watered. You can control the water pressure with the amount you release from the spigot. For a longer spray, increase the water pressure, and for smaller lawns, you’ll have to keep the water flow rather low.

This device features three spraying arms, which rotate on the central device at 360 degrees for maximum spraying coverage. The sprinkler’s arms have four nozzles that each spray in a different direction to make sure all areas of the lawn are watered. The arms themselves are also adjustable for an even more customized lawn watering experience.

Price at time of publish: 35

Type: Rotating | Spray Coverage: 3,600 square feet | Coverage Pattern: 360 degrees | Hose Size: Hose not included, requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Up to 80 PSI | Material: ABS plastic

Best Stationary

Gilmour 8-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler

The circular shape of this stationary sprinkler by Gilmour enables it to spray all around the lawn for greater coverage. Though it doesn’t rotate, it still provides a 35-foot spray distance, and it has eight different spray settings, too. It’s best for use in smaller lawns, although you can also use it for large yards. You’ll just have to move it around to cover more ground.

To change the spray patterns, all you have to do is rotate the central plastic piece with the aqua-colored Band to one of the clearly marked spray settings, which are each depicted with a little diagram.

The swivel connection is made of metal, and it has an ergonomic-grip for easy adjusting. Despite its low price, the unit is powerful, doesn’t leak, and features a heavy, durable die-cast metal base to keep it in place, even in windy weather. The sprinkler is weatherproof and will last through the seasons. There’s also a lifetime warranty.

Price at time of publish: 10

Type: Stationary | Spray Coverage: 1,225 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Eight different settings, including circular, semi-circle, triangular, square, and half square | Hose Size: Hose not included, requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Up to 60 PSI | Material: Die-cast metal

Best Telescoping

Orbit 58288 3-Arm High-Rise Sprinkler

Not all lawns consist solely of low-lying trimmed grass of just a few inches. Some have tall reeds like bamboo to tend to as well as an array of hedges, not to mention those overgrown yards that still require a good watering. This telescoping high-rise sprinkler by Orbit adjusts from a height of 23 to 35 inches to reach heights that other ground-lying sprinklers may not be able to.

Its tall height means that even your higher planters and hanging baskets can get thoroughly hydrated. One of these units is enough for a small to medium-sized yard, but you can get more of them to spread around a larger lawn if needed. The sprinkler can cover a yard of up to 1,960 square feet, and each of its three twirling brass arms can spray a 360-degree diameter of up to 50 feet. Though not many sprinklers work well with low pressure, this one does a great job of it.

This telescoping sprinkler is designed to be stuck in the ground like a stake (you have to step on it to make sure it gets deep enough). The garden hose can then be attached to it using the easy connection. Though the water pressure is adjustable by the spigot, this is not the watering unit for anyone who wants their sprinkler to emit a powerful water pressure. Rather, it’s best for those who need a softer, rain-like spray with a consistent stream for watering lawns, shrubbery, and more delicate flower beds and vegetable patches.

Price at time of publish: 31

Type: Telescoping, rotary | Spray Coverage: 1,960 square feet | Coverage Pattern: 360-degree water coverage | Hose Size: Hose not included, requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Up to 80 PSI | Material: Brass

Best with Tripod

Orbit 56667Z Zinc Impact Sprinkler

Similar to its sister model above, in addition to low-lying lawns, the Orbit 56667Z Zinc Impact Sprinkler is designed to water foliage and greenery that is a little higher off the ground. In contrast to the Orbit 58288 3-Arm High-Rise Sprinkler, however, this tripod model is an impact sprinkler, which means it shoots out water at quite an impressive pressure. Another difference is that this sprinkler can be moved around to wherever you need it, as opposed to being staked into the ground.

This lawn sprinkler can spray a full 360-degree angle at a distance of up to 85 feet in diameter thanks to its rotating head, and it’s ideal for larger-sized yards, too, as it can cover an area of 5,670 square feet. The sprinkler’s tripod base can adjust from 16 to 37.5 inches in height to allow you more flexibility for all your watering needs. This is not a one-season product; it’s made from a durable and hard-wearing zinc that’ll last you a long time.

The spray on this sprinkler is adjustable, too. You can place it in the middle of your yard for full coverage all around or put it towards the side of your yard and set the spray at a semi-circle to reach all around. The spray is consistent and precise, and there’s a diffuser screw that allows you to change the water stream and spray distance.

Price at time of publish: 60

How to Install Pop Up Sprinklers in Your Lawn

Type: Tripod | Spray Coverage: 5,670 square feet | Coverage Pattern: Adjustable from a partial section to full 360-degree watering | Hose Size: Hose not included, requires ⅝-inch fitting for a standard garden hose | Water Pressure: Not listed but works with average home water pressure (30–60 PSI) | Material: Zinc

The Bottom Line

With 32 pop-up sprinklers that come up when it’s time to water the lawn and go back down when the task is finished, the best lawn sprinkler system is the Rain Bird 32ETI In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit. It comes with 125 feet of hose and, although there is some digging required to get all the pieces under the soil and out of sight, setup is easy. It performs as well as some professionally-installed irrigation systems, which can cost thousands of dollars, but comes at the low price of around 130.

What to Know About Lawn Sprinklers Before Shopping

Sprinkler Type

There are a variety of sprinkler types to know about.

  • Oscillating: This type of sprinkler is typically rectangular with holes along the body, and it sprays out water in a fan shape, covering large areas of lawn at a time.
  • Rotating: Also known as rotary sprinklers, rotating models usually have two to four water spouting arms that turn, spraying water around in a circular pattern. Impact sprinklers are another type of rotating sprinkler and are usually great at spraying at a higher pressure.
  • Stationary: These are typically round devices with water holes that can spray water out in a fixed pattern. They stay in one place on the lawn (unless you move them) and are better suited to small yards.
  • Traveling: A traveling sprinkler has wheels and is almost like a little robot that moves around the yard by itself watering all the areas. Instead of advanced AI, however, the power of the water alone moves the sprinkler along.
  • Pop-Up: These types of sprinklers are fixed into the ground. They “pop up” when you turn the system on and then go back down when you turn it off, neatly tucking away out of sight.
  • Telescoping: The telescoping sprinkler is a type of pop-up sprinkler, but it extends up much higher than the typical pop-up types, making it ideal for watering shrubbery, too.

Spray Coverage

Depending on the sprinkler type and model, sprinklers can have a spray coverage of anywhere from 400 square feet all the way to a massive 5,000 square feet or more. Each sprinkler comes with a predefined spray coverage, so you’ll be able to choose the best lawn sprinkler for your lawn‘s size.

You might find that just one sprinkler is enough if you have a small- to medium-sized lawn, whereas a larger lawn might need various sprinklers spread throughout the grass. Although a traveling sprinkler offers a smaller spray coverage than a stationary model, it can cover more area thanks to its ability to move around the yard.

Hose Size

Each sprinkler will state the suitable hose size needed to operate, but the typical size used for tasks requiring high water pressure (such as water sprinklers) is ⅝ inches. Many of the skinnier ½-inch hoses can’t move enough water to keep the sprinklers working.

Water Pressure

While most sprinklers are designed to be used with a minimum water pressure of approximately 30 PSI, you have to know the water pressure at your home before you buy the best lawn sprinkler for you. This is because some water sprinklers won’t work if the water pressure is not at a certain level.

make, cheap, simple, lawn

If you have a good home water pressure and find that the sprinklers are not performing as they should be and that the water pressure is low, there are many things you can try. For starters, you can check the backflow preventer valve to make sure it’s completely open. The same goes for the main water valves or shut-off valves.

Also, ensure that there isn’t a water link break, leak in the system, or some kind of obstruction in the head, such as dirt, that has caused the sprinkler to clog. If you still find that your sprinklers aren’t putting out a lot of pressure, you might want to call in an irrigation specialist.


Sprinklers can come in many different materials, but the most common are steel and plastic, which is typically less expensive. Steel is the most common type of material for a sprinkler piping system. Many sprinkler heads are made from hard-wearing and durable ABS plastic or metals such as brass or stainless steel.

Plastic is less prone to rusting but could crack in too much direct sunlight. If you opt for a metal version and plan on having it for a long time, ensure that it’s rust-proof, resistant to corrosion, and can withstand the elements.

Your Questions, Answered

How often should you run your lawn sprinklers?

“How often you should water your lawn mainly depends on the time of the year,” Khandker says. On average, lawns should be watered around once a week. If it’s rained a good amount, you can give the sprinklers a rest for a week. In particularly hot and dry weather, you should be watering your lawn two to three times per week. “During growing season, you’ll be watering the lawn right after mowing, which should be once every seven to 10 days,” he says.

How long you should be running the sprinklers for “depends on many factors, such as the climate where you live, the type of grass you have, the type of sprinkler you have, and the size of your lawn,” Khandker says. For instance, warm-season grass needs less watering than cool-season grass, so check with your gardener or lawn specialist to make sure you know how much you should be watering your particular type of grass. As a reference point, the amount you should be watering your lawn usually ranges from one to two inches of water for most types of grass.

Once you know how much water your lawn’s grass type needs to thrive, you then need to work out how much water output your sprinklers can offer and run the water for a coordinating amount of time. Sprinkler run times are usually suggested at 20 to 40 minutes so that the area can fully soak. Many professionals suggest that the best way to water a lawn to maximize efficiency is to operate the sprinklers for half of the suggested watering time, wait about 20 to 30 minutes for the water to fully penetrate the surface, and then resume watering for the remaining amount of time.

“If you have pets who do their business freely in the yard, you might want to run the sprinklers a little more often,” Khandker suggests. Water dilutes urine, reducing its potential to damage your lawn.

What is the best way to water a large lawn?

Lawn sprinklers are the best way to keep a large lawn watered. While many sprinklers have their perks, Khandker recommends a pop-up sprinkler system. “The underground, pop-up water sprinklers are helpful as they hide away under the soil when you’ve finished using them, so they’re not in the way and not left out on display either,” Khandker says.

In addition, the way you mow your lawn in each season could have an impact on how well it gets watered. Khandker advises that, in hot weather, you should leave your grass a little bit longer when you mow it. This encourages the grass to develop deeper roots to access more water and stay safe from the summer heat.

Who We Are

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat reviewed multiple lawn sprinklers and researched factors such as each lawn sprinkler’s type, spray pattern, coverage, size, water pressure, material, and value for money. She also spoke to Sean Khandker, owner of InsideOut Gardening, Landscaping, and Maintenance Services.

The Top 5 Most Exciting Advances In Lawn Care Technology

At first glance it may not seem like irrigations systems have changed much in the last 10 years. After all, we don’t see drones watering our landscapes or tending to our flower beds. Irrigation systems are still doing the same job they’ve been doing for decades. However, a careful look behind the scenes, reveals the sophisticated technologies that are at work: Advanced sensors that act as personal meteorologists, innovative lawn services run by tech startups, and apps that put some of irrigation’s most powerful technology at your fingertips. The industry has moved forward in countless ways, and today, we’re counting down some incredible innovations we’ve seen along the way.

Robotic Lawn Mowers

Ever wish a robot could do the lawn mowing for you? Believe it or not, this technology already exists, it’s just not widely used — yet. Many robotic mowers have sophisticated sensors, programmable cutting paths and remote control options to keep them away from obstacles and stay on track. Companies like RoboMow and LawnBot have been making robotic, guided lawn mowers for years. But now, even lawn care heavy-weights like John Deere and home care robotics companies like iRobot (Roomba) are getting into the mix.

Uber-Inspired Mowing Services

If you can’t afford a robot, but you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire someone to do it for you. Now, in the old days you called a neighbor, or found service providers through Google, Angie’s List or the Yellow Pages. Now there are a number of Uber-inspired startups who are vying for your business as well — on-demand lawn care companies like Mowz, Lawnstarter, GreenPal and LawnGuru.

At Mowz, you create a home profile on their Mowz and Plowz app and schedule a mow. The app sends the request to providers that are logged in. They give you a quote. You approve, and once the job is done, your credit card is charged and you receive a picture of your freshly-mowed lawn.

Remote Irrigation Control

Want to control your commercial or residential irrigation system remotely? Mobile controllers and apps are put the latest irrigation technology in the palm of your hand. But the app that works for you, will depend on the irrigation system that’s behind it. For example, some Rain Bird central control systems offer mobile controllers that helps businesses keep tabs on their irrigations systems and make adjustments as needed.

For residential users, an app-controlled system, like Rachio, may be more cost-effective. The Rachio app provides weather alerts and gives home owners the ability to change their watering schedule or set up rain delays based on the information provided — all from the convenience of their smartphone.

Irrigation Sensors

Today’s advanced sensors take the guesswork out of running commercial and residential irrigation systems. How do they do it? They measure various conditions and turn controllers into Smart controllers. For example, Hunter’s Evapotranspiration (ET) System is an add-on accessory that works for the company’s Pro-C and PCC controllers. This system uses a number of sensors to measure conditions that cause evapotranspiration (the amount of water lost from the soil surface by evaporation and the amount of water lost from plants by transpiration). Once this data is calculated, the ET system will adjust irrigation schedules to replace water as needed.

Other types of sensors include rain sensors, freeze sensors, wind sensors, and flow sensors. These sensors work to ensure that watering techniques and irrigation system run times work in tandem with the current conditions.

Central Control Units

If you’re looking for real revolutions in commercial lawn care, all you need to do is step onto a world class golf course. There is perhaps no place on earth where having the right irrigation technology matters more. Every single course has a number of different watering needs and thousands of rotors. However, the challenge most golf courses have is watering at the right time and maximizing efficiency. Rain Bird seems to have this down to a science with their innovative Central Control System, which is managed by the Rain Bird Dynamic Flo-Manager. This system pulls data from sensors, water stations, pump stations and rain cans, so it can respond to irrigations levels, weather conditions and equipment failures in real-time. It isn’t ruled by any outside satellite programs. It is managed by the current conditions and the country club managers who control it.

While we have only touched on the latest technologies that are available for today’s commercial and residential irrigations systems, we can assure you that there are many more. But probably the best thing about many of these new technologies, is that you don’t need to think about them at all. Once you install them, and punch in your settings or make a request, they’ll take it from there. And in the process, you’ll save time, money and resources. Curious about how to put all of these technologies to work for you? Sunrise Irrigation and Sprinklers has been working in the Tampa area for over 20 years, and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction. Call us at 727-772-3819 or send us an email today.

About the Author: Joe Swett

Former U.S. Coast Guard and Tampa-native Joseph Swett is the owner of Sunrise Irrigation, a Palm Harbor-based company that has been providing sprinkler and irrigation services in the Tampa Bay Area, Florida, for more than 20 years. A RainBird-trained landscape specialist, Mr. Swett is dedicated to helping Florida homes and businesses implement effective irrigation technologies and transition towards Smart water conservation. In his spare time, Joe sponsors and plays in two men’s softball leagues, but also enjoys surfing and going fishing with his family.

The Ultimate Sprinkler Head Buying Guide

Watering the garden automatically

A lush, green lawn, magnificent rows of beds, a multicoloured carpet of flowers – the dream of every garden lover in summer! But a professional knows that, though having a green garden paradise is a hobby and a passion, it also involves a lot of work. In particular, watering the plants and the lawn requires a lot of time and energy every day in the warm months. By using an automatic watering system, you can bypass this time-consuming process and simultaneously save valuable water. The following contains an overview of the various systems as well as how automatic watering with ground water or rain water works.

The advantages of automatic watering in the garden

The advantages of an automatic watering system in the garden can be quickly enumerated: Compared with watering using a watering can or traditional spray guns, you can save an enormous amount of time with a watering system in the garden. over, this method saves water and conserves more resources than blasting the garden with tap water by hand. You can water your garden especially effectively using individually adjustable sprinklers and water timers or watering clocks. This allows lawns, plants and bushes to be watered either manually or in a targeted manner according to an individually adjustable watering schedule – even whilst you are at work or on holiday. Another advantage is that automatic watering with, for instance, rain water or ground water does not consume valuable drinking water. Rain water can be collected via a cistern or a water butt and is then connected to the automatic watering system using a booster pump and a hose system. Of course it also works the same way with ground water or water from wells, which can be distributed effectively in the garden with a garden pump.

Automatic watering: Controlled manually or by computer

If you are considering purchasing a watering system, a few questions have to be clarified first. This is not only to do with you wanting to learn how automatic watering works and what systems there are. It is also related to the quality and size of your own garden area. For example, there are questions relating to what kind of hose system is suitable and which water source you want to use, in order to provide flowerbeds, hedges and lawns with water in a targeted manner. There are also various types of water timers. It is important to know the following here: If you have answered these fundamental questions for yourself, the majority of the “work” has been done. Installation of the watering system is uncomplicated and takes just a few minutes.

How does automatic watering work?

Essentially you have three options with automatic watering. To start off with, a modern hose system that distributes water via automatically functioning sprinklers may already be sufficient. This variant is cheap and requires no laborious planning, as the mobile and individually adjustable devices can be placed in the desired area of the garden at any time if required. So you are already saving a lot of time, and can use this time to take care of your family and household or for home working. Thanks to flexible hose connection systems, several sprinklers can in some instances also be connected with each other.

But if you’re no longer only talking about large patches of lawn, but rather you want to water flowerbeds and herbs, for example, in a targeted manner, an intelligent watering system is required that supplies each plant individually and in a needs-oriented manner. The micro-dripping method is used here. The water is guided to numerous drip nozzles and micro spray nozzles via a hose, so that the plants are watered not only efficiently but, above all, also in a way that conserves resources and regulates quantities. Through the combination of fine drip nozzles and micro spray nozzles, either individual plants can be watered in a targeted manner or the entire bed can be watered using various spraying patterns. When it comes to watering, there are trickle hoses additionally developed for this, which you lay in the bed or around it like a traditional hose. Installation is quick thanks to the supplied step-by-step instructions. You trim the hoses as required, using the hose distributors supplied with them to extend the system as needed. The drip nozzles and micro spray nozzles are installed on the system hose, and this is stuck in the ground in the desired place using hose spikes. Extremely practical: The micro spray nozzles can be individually adjusted via a controller.

If the garden needs to be made winter-proof, the nozzles and tap adapters of the watering system can be unscrewed in no time at all. The system should be fully dismantled and stored over the winter in a frost-proof location.

What water source is used for watering the garden?

No matter whether you want to water your plants, beds and flowers by hand or to use an automated system for watering the garden, the question remains as to the water source. The most obvious option for this is to use tap water by connecting the garden hose or the watering system to the house’s tap. For some garden owners, it may, however, be worth using an alternative water source. A watering system with ground water or water from a well or automatic watering of the garden with rain water is worth considering for this.

Anyone who owns a large garden can additionally consider building a well in order to use the collected ground water or rain water to water the garden. It’s true that this entails some one-off costs, but it will yield a profit from as early as a few years’ time. Collecting rain water in cisterns and collection tanks and dispensing this into the watering system and eventually in the garden using booster pumps is also appropriate for this purpose.

Premium class: Automatic watering with water timer

Anyone who wants to have their garden watered completely automatically can rely on water timers. Even when you’re on holiday or at work, you no longer need to worry that your flowers are getting too little water. You can set a watering interval on the device in advance – allowing the garden to be watered according to a schedule and fully automatically.

This works as follows. The water timer is attached to the house’s water connection, as you will have seen with other watering systems. Depending on the model, you can connect one to three distributor systems to it. If you decide, for example, on a watering clock, you can only set the watering period manually. After a maximum of two hours – or earlier if required – watering stops automatically.

You can get even more independence with a water timer. This not only ensures that the garden is automatically watered once a day – or more times if required – but also measures the soil moisture via a sensor. The signal is sent to the operating unit at the water connection wirelessly, consequently starting and finishing watering depending on the function set in advance – that is the modern and efficient way of watering the garden.

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