Last Updated on August 18, 2021
If you regularly water your garden by hand, we’ve got news for you: it’s not enough to ensure better growth and a healthier garden.
What you need is a sprinkler system, especially if you don’t have much time to dedicate to your garden or your garden is big.
Why is a sprinkler system so beneficial for your garden?
One of the biggest benefits of using a sprinkler system is that it’s really convenient to help you water your garden daily with minimal effort on your part.
Installing a sprinkler system also helps you to continue watering your garden when you’re out of town and it enables you to make the most of the best times when you should water your garden, such as early in the morning when you don’t feel like going out there and using the garden hose.
It’s also safer for small kids – those long garden hoses that you leave strewn across your garden are an injury waiting to happen! If you’re interested in purchasing a sprinkler system for your garden, here are five of the best to consider before you go ahead.
Now that we’ve looked at some important specs of the best sprinkler systems, such as the area they’ll be able to water, let’s take a closer look at each of these sprinkler sets, checking out their features, pros, cons, and costs.
Table of Contents
- Best Sprinkler System – Reviews And Recommendations For 2021
- Best Sprinkler System: HIRALIY Misting Cooling System
- Runner-Up: Orbit 58322 Traveling Sprinkler
- Alternative 1: KING DO WAY Micro Drip Irrigation Kit
- Alternative 2: Orbit 58871 Above-Ground System Sprinkler
- Alternative 3: PETUOL Drip Irrigation Kits
- Sprinkler System FAQ
Best Sprinkler System – Reviews And Recommendations For 2021
Best Sprinkler System: HIRALIY Misting Cooling System
This sprinkler system by Hiraliy is strong, durable, and can deal with high levels of water pressure. Let’s check out all its features!
- 65.6-foot hose
- Brass threaded connector
- 20 misting nozzles
- This misting system comes with a 65.6-foot hose that’s made of PU (polyurethane) recyclable materials. They’re also resistant to the sun’s UV rays, so you don’t have to worry about them cracking and wearing away over time.
- The PU hose is also thicker than that of competitors, with an outer diameter of 8mm and an inner diameter of 5mm. This means it can handle stronger water pressure without a problem.
- This system comes with all the items you need for a quick and easy installation right in the box, making it very convenient to use straight away.
- This misting system cools the outside temperature by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it wonderful to have if you live in regions where summers get intolerably hot.
- Instead of making use of plastic, which can break easily, this system has a no-leak brass threaded connector that’s longer lasting and more durable.
- The system comes with 20 misting nozzles, so you can easily set them up all around the garden or on the patio to cool you down in the hot summer months.
- Some people who have purchased this sprinkler system have reported that it’s more of a soaker than a mister, as the finest mist setting will have more of a soaking effect. That’s something to bear in mind.
- The nozzles aren’t as adjustable as you might like them to be. Although they can be adjusted in order to change their direction, you can’t adjust their spray pattern.
- The sprinkler system comes with nylon cable ties to secure the misters.
- The connector hose can easily be attached to a variety of things, such as a garden hose, timer, and filter.
- You can easily attach the hose to other hoses because this hose is open-ended. However, you will need a coupling, which you can find at your local hardware store.
- The company’s customer service is exceptional, which is great to know if you encounter any problems with the product.
This garden watering system costs around $50. It’s easy to assemble and set up, and can be used in a variety of ways in your garden, making it the best sprinkler system to purchase without burning a hole in your pocket. The bonus is that you can use it to water your lawn and flowers, but also provide a cooling effect on the patio during those hot summer days.
Runner-Up: Orbit 58322 Traveling Sprinkler
Okay, so you might be wondering what a traveling sprinkler is, exactly. Traveling sprinklers are also called self-propelled sprinklers because their system ensures that you can customize the watering process so that they will water where you want them to. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the Orbit Traveling Sprinkler and how it works, as well as its benefits.
- Three sprinkler speeds
- Cast-iron sprinkler body construction
- Automatic shut-off feature
- One of the most intriguing things about this sprinkler is that it’s self-propelled. By using your garden hose, you can create a custom path for the sprinkler to follow so that you can water areas of your garden that need more attention than others.
- This sprinkler system gives you a huge spray coverage of up to 13,500 square feet. You also get 200 feet length of hose in the kit.
- You can choose different speeds for this sprinkler system: “high,” “low,” or “neutral.” “High” would be a good choice if you want your lawn to be very saturated, for example.
- You can easily increase or decrease the spray coverage. You just need to twist each spray arm, and you can adjust the watering distance to a maximum of 55 feet.
- The body of the sprinkler is tough as it’s made of cast iron. This will ensure that it remains sturdy and stable when in use so that it doesn’t stall.
- Some people who have purchased and used this sprinkler system have reported that it sometimes gets stuck, such as in bare spots in the garden. This can cause the sprinkler to produce a puddle and spin its wheels, so you might have to keep an eye on it.
- The gears on the sprinkler are plastic, which have been said to be less durable than other materials.
- This system comes with an automatic shut-off feature that’s a great way to save water. How it works is that you can use a ramp stop at any point along the length of the house to turn off the sprinkler immediately.
- This sprinkler has durable gears and spiked rear wheel so that it can move smoothly and evenly along your wall, ensuring that the grass everywhere in your garden gets a good amount of water.
- While it might sound like the system makes use of a complicated process to work, it’s actually really easy to set it up and start using it. To create a custom path for it that you want it to follow in your garden, all you need to do is place your hose in a pattern you want in your garden so that the sprinkler will follow it. The hose will work as a guide for the sprinkler system’s front wheel.
This Orbit traveling sprinkler costs around $60. It’s a great way to customize how you want your garden to be watered, which is especially appealing if other sprinkler systems you’ve tried have watered your garden in an uneven way.
This product is ideal if you want your sprinkler system to take over your watering needs without you having to put in a lot of effort, and if you have a large amount of lawn that you want to water evenly and thoroughly so that it all looks beautiful and green.
Alternative 1: KING DO WAY Micro Drip Irrigation Kit
If you’re serious about watering your garden and improving how it looks, one of the most important things you’ll have to look for in a sprinkler system is the ability to be able to customize it according to your needs. We’ve already seen this feature in our previous product, the Orbit Traveling Sprinkler, but let’s look at the King Do Way Micro Drip Irrigation Kit as a solid alternative.
- Saves up to 70 percent water
- 15 misting nozzles and 10 adjustable drippers
- Tool-free installation
- This system can really help you to cut down on water costs in your household. It can save up to 70 percent of water because of how precise it is. It will give the right amount of water to where it’s needed, therefore reducing waste.
- This sprinkler system offers many different ways in which you can customize it. It comes with 15 misting nozzles and 10 adjustable drippers.
- You can adjust the rotating water spray nozzles so that they can all do different things. This is a fantastic feature, especially if you want different areas of your garden to be watered in different ways.
- You can also adjust the drip irrigation head – simply move it counter-clockwise to increase the drop flow or in the opposite direction to decrease the water flow.
- This sprinkler system can’t be attached to a regular garden hose. It requires an adaptor, which doesn’t come in the kit.
- Some people who have purchased this product have expressed frustration with the clear faucet hose because it can’t deal with any water pressure and easily breaks.
- You get two tap connectors in this system: one is a threaded tap connection that’s suitable for ½-inch and ¾-inch threaded taps, while the other one is a universal faucet connector for unthreaded faucets.
- The system is easy to install and doesn’t require the use of special tools, making it user-friendly for you whether you’re a pro at installing sprinklers or a complete beginner.
If you like what the King Do Way sprinkler system has to offer, you’ll want to know how much it costs. You can purchase it for around $50, so it’s budget-friendly while having amazing features you’d expect to find in more expensive sprinkler systems.
Alternative 2: Orbit 58871 Above-Ground System Sprinkler
Orbit makes our list of the best sprinkler systems again! This sprinkler system varies quite a bit from the other one we’ve already featured in this guide: it’s not as powerful but does have some great benefits. Let’s check out why it’s the best lawn sprinkler system!
- 12-feet hoses
- Attaches to regular garden hose
- Adjustable sprinkler nozzles
- One of the best things about this sprinkler system is that you can customize it according to your gardening needs, such as if you have some hard-to-reach areas that never get enough water, because it’s a portable system.
- It’s really easy to use this sprinkler system because you don’t have to dig any holes when installing it. The system is secured with metal loop stakes, making it much easier to install and remove if that’s required in future.
- To start using it, you just need to attach the system to your regular garden hose.
- You get two reinforced garden hoses in the pack that are 12 feet in length as well as three sprinkler heads with adjustable nozzles.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of this system is that the metal loop stakes are sold separately instead of being included in the kit.
- Some people who have purchased this product have expressed frustration with its water pressure. The sprinkler head that’s closest to the faucet releases pressure that’s too high, which causes the last sprinkler head to lack pressure.
- A big problem with the system is that there’s no valve included to control how much water reaches the sprinkler heads. This means that the pressure is too high and this can cause problems, such as if you have a slope in your garden.
- The system is designed to evenly distribute water to every sprinkler. The sprinklers can reach up to 24 feet in diameter and they’re completely adjustable – their nozzles can be adjusted so that you can create a partial or full spraying circle, depending on your needs. This is a feature that makes this sprinkler system one of the best above ground sprinkler systems to own.
- Although the system is made of plastic, it’s strong and durable so that you don’t have to worry about concerns you’d have with other materials, such as that it will corrode or rust over time.
If you’re looking for a really inexpensive sprinkler system, this one’s for you. It costs around $30! While it does have some issues, as we’ve outlined in its review, these might not be problematic for you.
Ideally, this is a sprinkler system that will work best in a small, completely level garden, giving your lawn the watering that it needs to flourish.
Alternative 3: PETUOL Drip Irrigation Kits
If you want the convenience of having everything you need in one sprinkler system kit, you’ve come to the right place! The Petuol Drip Irrigation Kit has everything you need and more to water your garden so that it can thrive.
- Strong ABS plastic
- No-dig installation
- Two faucet fittings
- You get a lot of value for money with this kit because everything you need is in the pack: a 30-meter drip irrigation tube, a tubing quick connector, a garden hose socket, 30 drip tips, a universal connector, a puncher, a pipe seal tape, and your instruction manual.
- You want a sprinkler system to be easy to install, and this one doesn’t disappoint. It has two faucet fittings included to make installation a breeze: one is a threaded faucet connector and the other one is a universal faucet for unthreaded faucets.
- You don’t have to dig holes in your garden when setting up this sprinkler system. You just have to plug in the fittings and you’re all set!
- The system’s irrigation tube is constructed to be resistant to the harsh UV rays while also being made of strong plastic known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). This type of plastic is resistant to chemicals and impact, making it a durable material for a sprinkler system.
- Although you get an instruction manual in the box, people who have purchased this sprinkler system have reported that the instructions aren’t really that detailed and the items in the box aren’t labelled. If it’s your first time installing a sprinkler system, this can make the process a little frustrating.
- Other people who have purchased this product have reported that there is a lack of versatility due to the fact that the tubes in this sprinkler system are not standard sizes, so trying to use standard connectors doesn’t work.
- The sprinkler system has lots of different uses: you can use it to water your lawn and garden, cool a hot outdoor area during the summer, or water your greenhouse, to mention just a few ways in which it’s so useful.
- You can adjust the sprinklers so that their nozzles can change the water flow intensity in different ways, and independently from each other, which is a nice touch.
- You can connect the quick connector to the other connectors so that they can work in a combined way so as to meet the irrigation requirements of your garden.
If you’re interested in purchasing this sprinkler system, it will cost you around $40. It’s got some great features, with one of them being the convenience of having everything you need to set it up in the kit as well as how easy it is to install (although you might need to look up YouTube videos if you’re a complete novice when it comes to setting up sprinkler systems!).
Sprinkler System FAQ
After reviewing the best sprinkler system and four alternatives to make watering your garden a breeze, you might still have some questions related to garden sprinklers.
Let’s answer some of the most common ones.
How many types of sprinkler systems are there?
Garden sprinkler systems are usually built to be versatile, offering you the chance to customize them according to your needs because not every garden and lawn will be the same.
So, there are quite a few different types of sprinkler systems that you can find on the market.
In-ground sprinkler systems have a main line that connects to different branches, at the end of which are sprinkler heads to enable you to get enough water coverage in your garden.
There are different types of sprinkler heads, though. You can find in-ground heads or above-ground heads.
Some can also be higher than others, which will obviously influence the spray coverage that you’ll get from them, so they’re important to consider when purchasing your sprinkler system.
Then, you also have to consider the type of sprinkler nozzles that are in the kit. Different sprinkler nozzles will have different shapes depending on the water spray pattern that they allow.
For example, some will produce a fixed or rotating spray pattern.
Let’s take a look at the most common sprinkler system types.
These move in circular motions so that you get streams of water in different areas of your lawn or garden.
They’re great for larger gardens because they can cover greater distances than other types of stationary sprinkler systems.
There are three types of rotary sprinkler systems.
- The first one is the impact sprinkler. The sprinkler heads rotate as the pressure from the water in the nozzle strikes the spring-loaded arm, which is why they can be quite noisy.
- The second type of rotary sprinkler system is the gear-driven sprinkler. These sprinkler heads also rotate but they release a spray of water due to the gears that respond to the water pressure.
- The third type of rotating sprinkler is the stream rotor sprinkler which has multi-stream sprinklers that can spray water in different directions simultaneously.
As compared to rotary sprinklers, fixed sprinklers release a stream of water that doesn’t move, although it can be set to fan out or create patterns depending on how they’re customized.
However, fixed sprinklers don’t have as large a coverage area as rotary sprinklers.
These are ideal for smaller gardens because the sprinklers can send streams of water to distances of about 20 feet. How these sprinklers work is by having a straight bar with holes in it through which the water streams.
The bar will move up and down so that a moving curtain of water is produced.
We’ve seen some traveling sprinklers in our reviews of the best water sprinkler systems. They’re sometimes called self-propelled sprinklers because they can move around the garden while watering it.
You can customize where you want them to go and they’re a much more convenient option than having to move your garden hose throughout the day, which can prove highly frustrating if you have a large garden.
Sometimes a stream of water is too powerful or provides too much water for certain areas of your garden, such as flower beds. This is why misting sprinklers can be so useful.
They provide water at a lower pressure so that they don’t damage delicate plants and flowers.
They’re also beneficial for soils that absorb water at a slower rate, such as poorly-draining soils.
In addition to the above, you can even set up these misting sprinklers to hydrate your patio or other outdoor social area.
Some people don’t like how above-ground sprinkler heads look when not in use. It’s true that they can sometimes be a bit of an eyesore in your lawn or garden.
They might also be a potential danger because people can trip over them. That’s where pop-up sprinklers come in!
They are designed in such a way that they will remain in the ground and out of sight until they’re needed, at which point they’ll pop up above the ground and water your garden.
How do I calculate the sprinkler area?
When you want to purchase a sprinkler system, you’ll obviously need to know how much coverage you need in your garden so that the sprinklers will be able to water every inch of lawn.
Of course, the simplest way to find out what coverage you need is to measure your garden and then check with the sprinkler system manufacturer to see what coverage their sprinklers offer.
But, there are some other important things to consider when thinking about sprinkler coverage.
You need to plan where your sprinkler heads will go to be sure that you will get the coverage you need from them.
This is because if you don’t plan them out properly, you won’t get even coverage everywhere, even if the sprinkler system has the amount of coverage you want.
It’s important to know that areas in the garden that are closest to the sprinkler will be watered more than those further away, so make sure that you start by placing sprinkler heads in the corners of your garden and then work your way to the center using a head-to-head method, as Irrigation Express reports.
This means that the sprinkler spray coverage should overlap a bit so that they will deliver uniform, even watering.
To calculate how to properly position your sprinklers to get the best coverage, follow these steps:
- Measure the garden’s dimensions with measuring tape and draw it to scale on graph paper. Every square on the paper will be equal to one square foot of your garden.
- Then, multiply the diameter of the circular spray pattern of the sprinkler you want in your garden by 0.50, as SFGate explains, as this will give you the spacing you should use between your sprinkler heads. If your sprinkler’s spray pattern is 10 feet across, for example, you would put your sprinklers five feet apart from each other.
Another way to calculate the sprinkler area is to take the radius of the sprinkler that’s provided by the manufacturer and multiply that by two to get the diameter.
Then, multiply that by 0.6 – this will give you the maximum distance that should be between two sprinklers, as Irrigation Tutorials explains.
Now, when planning your garden so that you know where to position your sprinklers, make sure the above is taken into account so that you will be able to get the coverage you need.
How to install a sprinkler system?
If you have an underground sprinkler system, you’ll need to follow these steps in order to install it correctly.
- First, you’ll need to provide water to the irrigation system, and you can do this by connecting the system to your existing spigot. Alternatively, you can connect to the main water service line. For both, you’ll need to install an anti-siphon valve so that you’ll prevent fertilizer and other chemicals from entering the main supply of water.
- Next, you’ll need to dig a trench in your garden. This should be around eight inches deep and its sides need to slope at 45-degree angles.
- Now that you have your trench, you can put the valve manifold box into the ground. Make sure the hole for it is a bit larger than the box so that it will fit nicely. Then, connect one end of the valve manifold to the main water supply line. Make sure you tighten the clamps.
- Connect your PVC pipe to the valve manifold’s open end and then lay the pipe along your trench. You’ll need tee connectors for any pipes that move away from the main line.
You’ll also need to attach risers with the use of 90-degree connectors at points where you want to put your sprinklers (you can mark them with stakes to make your job easier during the process), so that you can attach your sprinkler heads.
- But, before you connect your sprinkler heads, make sure you run water through the system to flush out any dirt. Then, connect the sprinkler heads onto the risers.
- Fill sand and dirt into the trench, and make sure the ground is level with your sprinkler heads.
- Your last step will be to connect the wires of your timer – you’ll have to do this based on the sprinkler manufacturer’s specifications.
How to winterize sprinkler systems?
Winterizing your sprinkler system is important to do when the cold season arrives because it will prevent the system from being damaged by extremely cold temperatures.
Here are some important things you need to do to properly winterize your sprinkler system.
- Insulate the shut-off valve of the irrigation system by wrapping it with foam insulation tape as well as a plastic bag. If you don’t have a shut-off valve, you can proceed with the next step.
- Make sure you insulate any piping that’s above the ground. You can use self-sticking foam insulating tape.
- It’s important to drain your pipes so that any water inside them won’t freeze, causing the pipes to burst. If your sprinkler system is connected to the water source of your house, there’ll be a backflow preventer. Shut off this backflow valve. Then, open the drain valve so that you can release any water that’s still stuck in the system.
- You’ll also need to use an air compressor before you’re done with draining your pipes. This is important because pipes can move around a bit over time, causing some water to collect in areas that you can’t manually drain. Close the backflow preventer valve, and on this preventer you’ll see a plug that’s screwed into a blow-out port, as Popular Mechanics explains. You’ll need to remove this plug and then put in a quick-connect blow-out plug so you can connect your compressor. You can rent a compressor if you don’t own one.
- You’ll need to switch off your water supply and set the sprinkler timer so that it only operates in one zone. Open the valve of this zone and use the air compressor so that you can blow air into it to drain the pipes. When the sprinkler head expels water, you must quickly release the air pressure so that you don’t damage the sprinkler head. Then, repeat the above process so that you can blow out all the sprinkler zones you have. When you’re done, you’ll remove the blow-out plug and re-insert the plug in the backflow preventer.
Note: Bear in mind that you might not need to blow water out of your system, such as if your irrigation lines are on a slight downward slope. When you open the drain valves you’ll be able to drain them manually.
- Remove the pump. If you have a removable pump on the system, you should disconnect it and store it indoors for the winter season. If the pump is integrated and can’t be removed, you can cover it with an insulating blanket to keep it safe.
- Make sure you shut off your system’s control panel. To do this, disconnect the power source. If your system comes with a handy shut-down mode, you can use that setting during the cold months.
Can sprinkler systems be automated?
The best DIY sprinkler system will be customized so that you can control when your garden gets watered, even when you’re not at home. It’s a fact that almost every type of sprinkler system can be automated.
You just need to connect their timers. If you’re interested in DIY projects, you’ll love this one! Here’s how to make your sprinkler system automatic.
- First, find your sprinkler timer– it’s usually near your water supply near the sprinkler system pump on the side of your house. Mark holes for bolts on the enclosed housing bracket, then drill holes and attach the housing unit, as Do It Yourself explains.
- The next step involves connecting the control valve modules to their corresponding valves for each zone on the pump. This is so that the timer will be able to open different zones at different times. To achieve this, you should dig a small trench on which you’ll lay wire in a PVC pipe.
- Then you’ll connect the control modules from your timer to the corresponding pump valves and cover the PVC pipe in the ground. The fuss-free thing about this is that the wires will usually snap easily into the enclosures.
- Mount the timer onto the housing unit if you haven’t already done this before you did all your connections. Plug the unit into your outside outlet and then switch it on.
Now you can schedule when you want your sprinklers to water your garden. So simple!
Having a beautiful green and healthy garden doesn’t just happen.
You need to ensure that you look after your plants and grass by watering them enough.
Manually watering your garden isn’t always easy, especially if it’s a large space that requires you putting in time and energy that you just don’t have to spare in your busy schedule.
That’s why investing in a garden sprinkler system can save you time and money. In this article, we’ve looked at the best yard sprinkler systems to invest in.
To help you choose which one is best for your needs, we’ve outlined their pros, cons, features, and costs.
Choosing the system that fits in with your requirements and garden size, as well as one that’s easy to install, will be a total game-changer for your garden.