These days, it’s all about sustainability; people are being savvy with their water usage and stretching their resources. When shopping for sprinklers, garden hoses or irrigation equipment, consider how effective and self-sufficient you can be with the water you already have, and what products will set you up for continued watering and irrigation success. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan your irrigation for this season:
Rain Chains and Downspouts
These divert rainwater from your roof either directly into the ground or into a rainwater harvesting system like a cistern. Rain chains are increasingly gaining popularity due to their decorative design and the enjoyment you have from watching the water trickle along the chain.
Before you buy: Decide whether you want the more authentically traditional link style, which tends to splash a little more but is also clean and industrial, or the more contemporary cup style rain chain. Available in a variety of metal finishes, consider the finish, price, and style that will work best for your home.
Rain Barrels and Cisterns
These are convenient to have because they collect rainwater during the rainy months and then can store it indefinitely. If you hook a hose up to one or can conveniently fill a watering can, this can be a great way to conserve water and to irrigate your window boxes or potted plants.
Before you buy: Think about the amount of water that you will be able to harvest with your cistern. It’s not economical nor necessary to purchase a cistern that is exorbitantly larger than than the rain your region receives. Also make sure to select a cistern with a lid in order to prevent growths or attract insects — like mosquitoes. The style is really up to you.
Hoses are a yard essential. Whether coiled on a rack or in a barrel, you can use a hose to hand water plants or even attach a sprinkler head to it for watering massed plantings.
Before you buy: Depending on where you live, and how much ground the hose needs to cover, you may need to purchase multiple hoses in order to be more efficient. Hoses are available in lengths around ten feet up to lengths reaching over 100 feet. Climate will affect which hose material you plan to buy. For heavy durability and ensured longevity rubber hoses cost more but are guaranteed to withstand harsh weather. Vinyl hoses are lighter and easier to maneuver, but may not last as long. Or there are hoses that are comprised of a combination of the two. Take care of your hoses and check out specialty hoses just in case.
Watering cans are functional art pieces that add a special charm to any landscape. Use for aesthetics and hand plant watering purposes.
Before you buy: While metal watering cans will typically last longer, injection molded cans are lightweight, durable, and will also serve your watering needs. The selection for a watering can is likely to be more of an aesthetic preference than other irrigation equipment decisions, so let you taste dictate this decision.
Decorative Sprinkler Heads
These can hook up to your hose easily to efficiently water a large expanse of lawn or other mass plantings. Plus, there are many designs that even border lawn and garden art. What’s great about these garden accessories is that you don’t have to have a full irrigation system installed in order to water expansive areas at once.
Before you buy: Make sure that the sprinkler head is the right size for your garden hose.
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