As I write this I sit here wet, dirty and defeated. Over the years I have fought the sprinkler battle and I have finally admitted defeat. The sprinkler gods have won. They can stop laughing at me from their sprinkler cloud and move on to a new victim.
My lot is a quarter acre with many different garden beds and a large deck in the back yard. It is hard to place a sprinkler in a position to water what you want and not what you don’t.
I started like the rest of you with the oscillating sprinkler. You know the one. Green of course to look more natural on our green lawns….that is green if you can get a sprinkler to work.
It is pretty simple. It goes back and forth, back and forth in a path as wide as you choose by adjusting the little dials. These tend to get stuck in one position and you can hear the click, click, click of the oscillator trying to go back in the other direction in vain. These are all or nothing sprinklers hitting everything in their path with no adjustments for avoiding areas. For some smaller areas where the sprinkler had trouble reaching I tried a plain little Gardena model with adjustable spray pattern.
The downside of this is I would need to run 2 hoses, in both the front and back yards, to water the areas in my allotted watering times. This would cut down on the amount of water to the main sprinkler and I would have to move it partway through to reach the rest of the area.
Not to mention the stupid little connectors that break and leak all over. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
For getting into the nooks and crannies without soaking my doors, windows or my deck this one worked great albeit with a lot of adjustments. That is fine if you put it in the same spot every single time but since I have to move it to cover the whole yard this became tedious. I had to have one for the front yard and one for the back and had to move and re-adjust both of them twice per watering session.
There is an orange ring in the middle and it has little tabs under it which you push up to different levels to set how far you want the spray to go at that point much like an automatic timer for your lights. There are many of them and it is quite effective but unfortunately the spray part of this one gave up the ghost and the water is just spewing out the end. Moving on.
I like quality and try not to buy crap that will break right away. Next investment was in the Rainbird metal sprinkler. It too says it is very adjustable….not so much. I could get it to go in either a complete circle or it would go most of the way around and then back the other way…. when it felt like it. Most times it would reach the stop point and instead of turning back it would just stop there and soak that spot. I tried using it yesterday again and had quite a time getting it going back and forth but finally did….for a while. I looked out the window later and saw it spinning at a high speed in a complete circle soaking my driveway. Sigh…I just left it. This morning I tried again in a different spot and it worked just fine, again long enough for me to turn my back and go in the house. When I checked on it about 10 minutes later it was stuck in one spot soaking a hydrangea that quite frankly was happy for the attention.
At the beginning of this summer I tried yet again to find something that could water a large enough area so that I didn’t have to move the sprinkler several times per session. Again I have to buy two.
The orange dials on the left allow you to set the span of watering area in either direction. Good so far. The large tabs with the white lines allow you to bend the spray head to spray in a wider path. Okay. That should be good. Ya…..no…..
This one for some reason, even with full water pressure, and I have really good water pressure, doesn’t cover a big enough area. I have to move them 3 or 4 times to water the whole yard and that is front and back. Then of course the inevitable happened and the oscillator screws up and the adjustment won’t hold. It reaches the end and then drops in two more increments until it is stuck spraying almost level with the ground soaking in one spot. I go out and reset it and it works a couple more rounds, fanning back and forth, and then it drops again.