Is there any more beautiful setting for a home than a lush, green lawn? The smell, feel and vibrant colour cannot be replicated. Unfortunately, with the current dry conditions being experienced throughout Australia, the burden of maintaining a lawn and garden can be beyond most of us.
Enter the modern home sprinkler system which, when combined with state of the art timers, are designed to ‘set and forget’ whilst keeping your lawn the envy of the neighbourhood.
Let’s look at the how, what, and why home sprinkler systems are the ideal way to create spectacular expanses of lawn whilst adding value and beauty to your home.
Natural grass – better for your family
Natural grass is a far healthier choice, particularly for those with children. Using photosynthesis, grass assists in removing atmospheric carbon dioxide, storing it in the soil as organic carbon. The average residential lawn can convert enough of this atmospheric carbon dioxide to generate oxygen for a family of four!
At the other end of the equation, the recent advent of artificial turf lured many people with the prospect of low maintenance greenery. Whilst these products vary in their cost and quality, a few negative aspects of artificial grass are universal and should be highlighted; including some major health concerns.
- Crabgrass and weeds can still grow, requiring the use of toxic chemicals.
- Off-gassing is a real concern due to the chemical components used in the manufacturing process. These include carcinogens, such as dibenzopyrenes.
- Chemical used to treat the grass can also increase the risk of infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
- Particles of the turf can breakdown to become dust and inhaled by children, creating a health risk.
Sprinkler systems, particularly those designed for larger areas, rely on water pressure to function optimally. This means reticulation must consider the inclusion of manual or wired valves to isolate zones in order to maintain water pressure. Tapered piping is often used to prevent attenuation (the reduction of flow pressure due to increasing distance from a water source).
When planning the layout of your system, thought must be given to the scope of the area and the number of sprinklers required to provide an even and consistent distribution of water to every zone.
Types of sprinklers
Spray irrigation systems come in a number of forms and the most suitable choice will depend on the type and size of your garden or lawn.
Unlike traditional sprinklers, micro-sprayers deliver a fine mist of water and are ideal for smaller garden beds.
Ideal for hedges and borders up to 1.5 metres wide.
A step up from the previous sprayers, these are best suited to medium to larger garden areas, having a spray range of 1 to 5 metres.
Relying on water pressure to function, pop-up sprinklers can be discreetly hidden away when not in use, creating a flat grassy expanse perfect for playing for games or just sitting in the sun. Rising to a height of about 100mm from the ground, their low projection makes them ideal for lawns.
Ideal for large garden expanses, impact sprinklers can be manufactured from both plastic and brass, depending on your budget, and have the option for ‘pop-up’ designs.
What type of grass is best?
The type of grass you choose for your lawn will be impacted by a wide variety of factors.
These factors include:
- The orientation of your garden for sunlight/shade
- Intended use
- Installation season
- Whether instant turf or grown from seed
In cooler climates, choose grasses such as Perennial Ryegrass and Fescue varieties. Buffalo varieties are shade tolerant and also a good choice for cooler climates. Bentgrass forms a lush, low mat of vibrant green but is not amenable to warmer climates. Zoysia varieties are ideally suited to warmer climates, whilst Kikyu varieties are the premium choice for high traffic areas due to its fast recuperative qualities.
As we have seen, there is a home sprinkler system designed to suit every type of garden and grass to suit any type of climate. With a little planning and research, you can enjoy beautiful, lush and vibrant lawn year round.