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Choosing a Watering Device
  • Types of irrigation devices

    Two major types of irrigation devices: Spray and Point Source.


Water Radius Spray - Rotor/Impact sprinklers with one or more rotating strewams of water.

Sprayheads - Sprinklers with a fan-shaped, non-rotating spray pattern.
Microspray - A mini-version of sprayheads with a very vine spray.

Point Source: A device which emits water in a flowing stream. Drip device which emits water slowly.

You want to choose a device that is well suited to your plant material and to your soil type.

Also note that particularly for native gardens that require little watering, a simple garden hose is often very effective.

  • Suggested irrigation devices based on plant type

    Spray devices are more suited to areas of continuous and relatively flat landscaping such as turf and groundcovers. Point-source units are best on individual plants with significant variation in height such as shrubs and trees.

Plant MaterialDimensions of Planting AreaBest Irrigation ChoicePressure Required

Each device has a different range of application rates (how fast they apply the water; also called the precipitation rate). If your soil is very sandy and porous, it can tolerate a high application rate. Heavy clay and silt soils, which are not very porous, require a low application rate. Sandy soil is better suited to spray devices. Matching the appropriate watering device to the type of soil is important to avoid excessive water use, to allow the appropriate amount of water to penetrate into the soil to right level (the base of the plant root zone), and to avoid runoff.

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