The Best Lawn Sprinkler Heads

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Lush lawns receive proper irrigation.
Lush lawns receive proper irrigation. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Before choosing a lawn sprinkler head explore your options and choose the one best suited for your particular lawn. Some lawns are shaded and populated by tree roots and infested with moss while others are in full sun and contend with drought problems and water restrictions. Fortunately there are many sprinkler head options available for your entire lawn or for a troubled portion.

Fixed Sprinkler Heads

Fixed sprinkler heads remain in a single position. They may rotate, but overall they follow the same spray pattern. This type of sprinkler head is best used on large, level lawns. They can be aboveground or pop-up. Pop-up fixed sprinkler heads are often set to automatic timers and emerge from the ground, spray the area for a set amount of time and then submerge.

Impact Sprinklers

Characterized by their clicking sound, impact sprinklers release a strong jet of water at timed intervals. Since the water is released close to ground level these sprinklers are well suited for windy areas.

Pulsating Sprinklers

Affixed to spikes, pulsating sprinklers are low-lying and slow-watering sprinkler heads that can be moved from one area of lawn to another. The sprinklers have a circular spray covering areas up to 90 feet. These sprinklers are best used on clay soils or new lawns that require a steady, slow water supply. The flow can be adjusted.

Rotating Sprinklers

Rotating sprinklers are an economical alternative to in-ground sprinkler systems. They can also be used to supplement in-ground sprinklers during drought. Rotating sprinklers are attached to a garden hose and moved from one location to another. Some sprinklers have a sledlike base or wheels to facilitate transport. Their reach ranges from 70 to 80 feet in diameter. Low-lying and quiet, these sprinklers are suited for lawns in need of quick moisture or for drought-prone areas within a larger lawn. Quiet rotor sprinkler heads are also available.

Oscillating Sprinklers

Oscillating sprinklers are yet another economical alternative to fixed head sprinklers and other sprinkler systems. These aboveground systems comprise a sprinkler head attached to a garden hose. Familiar for their summer recreational attributes (children run through them) as well as for their lawn irrigation properties, oscillating sprinklers allow an overhead flow that can be adjusted for speed as well as flow rate. They are best used on square lawns and some can be affixed to automatic timers.

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