How do you water your grass? The method you use has an impact on how lush your lawn looks and how much you spend on water. It might be time for an upgrade to save you both time and money.
The best lawn sprinkler systems take into account the size of your property and the climate where you live. They can also help you conserve water, which is a win-win for both you and the environment.
When you create a sprinkler system for your yard, you have several options to choose from. They include:
- Drip irrigation with hoses
- Stationary sprinklers
- In-ground sprinklers
- Oscillating sprinklers
- Traveling sprinklers
While those are all different ways of watering your lawn, you can manage most of them with other equipment. For example, you might have a simple timer attached your hose. Or you might invest in a smart controller that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi.
Top Lawn Sprinkler Systems
Let’s take a look at a variety of the best lawn sprinkler systems to see which will work best for you.
Rain Bird 32ETI Easy to Install In-Ground Automatic Sprinkler System Kit
Rain Bird sells a complete in-ground automatic sprinkler system kit. Installing everything in a few hours without professional help is possible. And there’s no special plumbing neede-–just attach it to an outdoor faucet.
Rain Bird’s kit is suitable for lawns measuring 1000 to 3000 ft.² in size. It includes 125 feet of distribution tubing, plus fittings, nozzles, a special a screwdriver, and drain valves. There are six pop-up rotary sprinklers as well. And the whole system is controlled by an uncomplicated timer at the end of the hose that attaches to the faucet.
Rain Bird SST600IN Simple-To-Set Indoor Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller, 6-Zone/Station
If you prefer a little more control over your watering than just a timer, try the SST600IN controller from Rain Bird. Instead of setting off all the sprinklers at the same time, this controller allows you to customize up to six zones in your yard. You can also adjust the watering time seasonally. Or you can suspend irrigation for up to 72 hours with the press of a button. That’s handy for when it’s just rained.
Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Works with Amazon Alexa
Orbit’s B-hyve smart sprinkler controller links to your home’s Wi-Fi network so that you can control it with mobile devices or your voice. It pulls weather reports from the Internet to help it determine how much water your plants will need. As a result, you can save up to 50% more water than you could with a simple timer.
Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, 2nd Generation
The second generation Rachio Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller can control either 8 or 16 individual zones in your yard. This Wi-Fi-connected wonder can be managed by the Rachio app on your smartphone or controlled by your voice. Additionally, it checks online for the latest local weather forecasts to automatically adjust your watering schedule. Should you have a question or problem, the company’s customer support is available 24/7.
Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller, Works with Amazon Alexa
Rain Bird’s ST8I-WIFI Smart irrigation system self-adjusts the watering schedule based on the local humidity and temperature. It also checks weather forecasts. With this information, it can suspend irrigation up to 14 days. It can also manage eight individual zones.
The Rain Bird app is available for both Apple and Android devices. It allows you to customize its schedule. Plus, the app can notify you about the status of your lawn.
RainMachine Touch HD-12, Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller, Compatible with Alexa
The RainMachine Touch HD-12 is easy to install yourself. Then once it’s up and running, this Wi-Fi-connected controller pulls weather data from the Internet several times a day. This information allows it to calculate the correct amount of water for your lawn.
You can manage the sprinkler system from the touchscreen, or install the app on your mobile device, or access your sprinklers through a web browser. In this way, you can check the status of your watering schedule from anywhere in the world.
Gideon Single-valve Hose Water Timer Irrigation Controller System
Not everyone wants an Internet-connected device to manage their irrigation schedule. That’s why the Gideon hose timer continues to be a popular item. All it needs is a couple of batteries to run.
The Gideon timer has a swivel coupling to attach between your faucet and hose. Then you can use the backlit LCD screen to set it to start watering and finish watering at precise times. It will run the water for a maximum of 240 minutes at a time, but it can also run multiple times each day.
Nelson 50180 Simple Soaker Flower Watering Sprinkler
The Nelson 50180 sprinkler is compatible with controllers like the Gideon reviewed above. It’s very convenient if you have a vegetable garden or flowerbeds. It comprises 50 feet of tubing and five spray nozzles, plus other needed accessories. All you’ll need to do is arrange the tubing where you want it, then bury it. Then connect it to a controller, and you’re ready to irrigate.
Orbit 58322 Traveling Sprinkler
Of all the sprinklers we reviewed, this one has to be the cutest. It’s a self-propelled traveling tractor that can spray anywhere from 15 to 50 feet in diameter. And it can irrigate up to 13,500 ft.² along 200 feet of 5/8-inch garden hose.
To use the Orbit traveling sprinkler, lay down your hose in a pattern that covers your lawn. Then attach the end of the hose to the sprinkler. Once you set the speed to low, neutral, or high, the tractor will begin to move along the hose slowly. As it rolls forward on this “track,” the whirling arms spray water. In summary, Orbit says that the sprinkler moves about 37 feet each hour and applies approximately a quarter inch of water.
GARDENA ZoomMaxx Sprinkler on Sled Base with Water Timer
The Gardena ZoomMaxx sprinkler is available in different versions. One type is mounted on a spike while another is on a weighted base. We chose the one with the sled base because it incorporates a water timer.
This oscillating sprinkler is appropriate for small yards up to 2300 ft.². Not only can you control how long it operates, but you can also adjust how far it sprays.
Lawn watering tips that save you money
Haven’t we all seen someone watering the sidewalk and the street more than their own grass? Or laughed at the homeowner whose sprinklers were running in the rain. Of course, those are wasteful practices.
But there are a few other things you might not know about watering the lawn. For example, avoid irrigating during the hot part of the day. Instead, set your sprinklers to run just before dawn. The benefit of this method is that it allows time for water to penetrate to the roots. But the blades and soil will still have time to dry during the day to avoid disease.
Next, the kind of grass and plants you have affect how much watering you need to do. Take the time to do research and discover what’s best for your landscape. Then, if there is a dry spell, avoid mowing the grass. When grass is cut, it loses moisture faster.
Finally, it probably isn’t necessary to water every day. Purchase a water sensor for your lawn to help you decide when it’s time to irrigate. Or you can simply stick a screwdriver a few inches into the ground to check moisture levels in the soil.
Some of the best lawn sprinkler systems available are those that monitor current conditions to save water. But even a straightforward timer can help you stay on top of irrigation duties. Once you get a system in place, it’s much easier to maintain a beautiful yard.