In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook demonstrates how to water smartly with a lawn sprinkler.
- Water lawn deeply and infrequently. Sandy soils dry out quickly; loamy soils and clay soils tend to hold water.
- As a general rule, hydrate your lawn 1 inch of water per week. Note, however, that it's best to water twice per week, dispensing ½ inch of water each time.
- Use a rain gauge to measure the amount of water emitted from the sprinkler.
- Run the sprinkler for 30 minutes, then check the rain gauge. Quick calculations will reveal how much water per hour is being applied.
- Also use a rain gauge to measure rainfall so that you don't over-water the lawn.
- Oscillating fan-type sprinklers are great for large, square lawns.
- For small lawns, choose a sprinkler that sprays a concise square pattern.
- Rotary sprinklers have spinning arms that throw water in a circular pattern.
- Pulsating sprinkler has a spike for easy installation anywhere on the lawn. It will throw a 360-degree spray, or you can set stops for watering any angle.
- Install a quick-connect coupling to end of garden hose so you can quickly attach and detach the hose from the spray nozzle or sprinkler.
- Water lawns very early in the morning, not at night or at mid-day.
- Use battery-powered programmable timers to automatically turn sprinkler on and off.
- Choose a timer that permits you to set the sprinkler's time on, time off, and day of the week.
- In-ground sprinklers can be permanently installed in the ground. Attach hose to sprinkler, flip on the sprinkler, then adjust the angle of spray.