Friday, September 16, 2011

Sprinkler Height

I realize this is a somewhat uninspiring picture of a sprinkler head, but it illustrates an important point about switching over from lawn to garden. When the backyard was all lawn, the automatic sprinklers were all the pop-up variety (BTW, everyone in Southern California has underground automatic sprinklers in their yard. They are as common as indoor plumbing). When we first converted the lawn to garden beds we had to move a few, cap a few that were too close to the low water plants, and add a few. That was fine for a while, but as plants grew it became apparent by the dying spots that water was not being distributed to the entire beds and grassy paths. After a few seasons of spotted hand watering, we finally got around to raising a few of the sprinkler heads that were on the perimeter to allow them to send water over some of the taller plants to reach the outer dry areas. In other places we have added the preferred drip irrigation, but it is just not practical in all areas. Many times people complain about losing one or two plants in a section where everything else is thriving and it is often the result of too much or not enough water from an automatic sprinkler system. Things change in a garden and it is important to recognize that their requirements change too.

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