By Marty Ross
Water and time are precious resources. A good sprinkler will help you save both.
Efficient watering starts with choosing the right sprinkler and adjusting it properly, so it waters the grass and not the sidewalk, the driveway or your neighbor’s flower beds. When the water goes where you need it, you don’t have to spend all day dragging a sprinkler around the lawn to reach the corners or wasting water that runs into the storm drain instead of soaking down to the roots of your plants.
To make the most of a rectangular pattern sprinkler, put its features to work. Gilmour’s Adjustable Width and Length Pattern Master Rectangular Sprinkler is great for large lawns—it can water up to 4,000 square feet, which equals about 60 feet wide by 67 feet long. But it’s great for tight spaces, too. Pinch the arrow-shaped tabs at the ends of the tube, sliding them up, and you can restrict the width of the spray to just eight feet.
Moving the tabs up straightens the watering wand (where the jets are). You’ll still be watering with all 19 jets, but the spray stays within the range you set. To cover a wider area, pinch the tabs and push down: the tube bends into a more pronounced arc, extending the watering range up to 59 feet.
To adjust the length of the spray, use the dials on the oscillating bar. When they’re set with the “plus” signs farthest away from the arrows, the spray pattern can reach 67 feet. Turn one dial all the way toward the “minus” sign and the sprinkler will oscillate only on one side, which is handy if you place the sprinkler close to the sidewalk—you’ll be sure to water only the grass and not passers-by.
It takes a little experimenting with the “plus” and “minus” settings to get the adjustment just right for your lawn. The exact distance will vary with water pressure, which is another way to control just how much water you’re using.
The heavy-duty Adjustable Width and Length Pattern Master Rectangular Sprinkler has a swivel nut with raised grips that makes it easy to get a snug fit between the hose and the sprinkler, so you don’t waste a drop of water. A wire-mesh filter at the connecting point keeps debris from getting into the water works.
When it’s time to water, set your sprinkler up in the evening, and turn on the water early in the morning when you’re having coffee. Watering early in the day limits the water lost to evaporation, so the moisture goes directly to the roots of the grass. Set a timer when you turn on the sprinkler: you will not waste water—or pay for more than you need—when you remember to turn the sprinkler off.
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