Choosing Sprinklers Over Drip Alternatives

For decades, underground sprinkler systems have cornered the market in the water delivery department. Today, gardeners and landscapers have some alternative choices for meeting their watering needs. Drip alternatives like drip emitters and sprayers are frequently purchased for areas where conservation is a high priority. However, if you have a large expanse of thirsty lawns and plants, a traditional sprinkler system may still be the right choice for you.

In the past, sprinkler systems could be described as water wasters - their quick delivery sometimes resulted in water runoff. This of course paved the way for drip alternatives that deliver water much more slowly. Today, however, sprinkler systems have made some necessary changes. Designers have created sprinkler heads that can deliver water more precisely than ever before.

A sprinkler system can be employed as a multicircuit system so that it can meet the individual needs of flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and traditional lawns. They are ideal for large uniform expanses. Many landscapers prefer to install sprinkler systems because they are nearly invisible - just the heads remain flush with the ground. Everything else is underground, so until the sprinkler heads pop up and deliver water, they are practically invisible. Drip irrigation systems are not invisible, however. All their components and tubing are exposed. While sections of the drip system may easily be camouflaged, they are still subject to damage from animals and even children who kick them out of place.

The other downside to irrigation systems is that they clog more easily than today's sprinkler heads. This may be due to the slow flow of the water, but frequent maintenance is a hallmark of these units. A sprinkler system, which is admittedly a major project to install (digging trenches all over your landscape), will be a pleasure to live with once a careful and well-planned installation is complete.

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