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Versatile Sprinkler System For Small and Odd Shaped Yards Or Gardens

J Delms

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A sprinkler system that will water around corners or big bushes, and will effectively water irregularly shaped yards or tall gardens is fairly easy to make. Such a system comprises two-to-four above-ground, plastic-pipe-raised spray nozzles connected in tandem by one-to-three hose remnants. Because these stake-anchored raised nozzles can give from one-to-360-degree spray patterns, they can be used for almost any sprinkling job. For example, at the 180-degree settings, the system can be setup along property lines, fences, walks, narrow strips of yard, and square or round corners. At the 360-degree settings, it can be used anywhere in the midst of lawns or flower and vegetable gardens where it will put water into the hard-to-get areas. Because of these capabilities, its operators need not worry about disgruntled neighbors or walkers who are affected by the spray going beyond set boundaries.

Additionally, a tall system of two-to-four risers placed in a tall flower or vegetable garden can be left in place during the growing seasons. Just connect an outside hose to it, and then let it sprinkle the garden. Furthermore, because the connecting hoses are easily bendable, the nozzle-risers themselves can be placed anyway as needed, e. g. , back-to-back, back-to-side, staggered, close-together, far apart, or in a circle or square. Thus, a preset spray pattern of 180-degrees takes care of most sprinkling situations. The parts for this system can be found in most hardware outlets for less than $50.

Parts for making a four-riser system for a lawns or gardens

-one 10-foot piece 600-psi 1/2-inch plastic pipe, 2.00

-eight ½-inch male adaptors, $0.30 each, 2.40

-one can of PVC cement with applicator, 3.00

-four Rain Bird® 180-degree or 1-to-360-degree adjustable screw-on female nozzles, $2 each, 8.00

-four flow-through screw-on ground stakes, plastic or aluminum, $3 each, 12.00

-three 15-foot assembled 5/8-inch hose remnants, $6 each, 18.00

Total $46.40

Note: if the 15-foot hose remnants are not available at local stores, make your own by cutting down a longer hose to that length, and then add male/female connectors (purchased separately) to the cut pieces of hose. The final cost is about the same as above.

To make the above nozzle-risers, do the following steps.

1. For grass lawns and low-growth gardens, cut four 2½-inch risers (nipples) from the ½-inch plastic pipe. For tall gardens, cut four 1½-feet risers from the ½-inch plastic pipe. Note: the system for the tall gardens is made exactly the same way as the one for lawns, except the risers are cut to 1½-feet in length instead of 2½-inches.

2. Remove any shavings from the inner and outer edges at both ends of each riser.

3. Cement a male adapter to each end of each riser following the directions on the can.

4. Let the cement dry overnight.

5. Screw-tighten one spray nozzle and one stake to the opposite ends of each riser.

6. Adjust the spray pattern for each nozzle to 180-degrees (half circle) or as needed. Align the spray pattern parallel to the hose connections on the stake.

7. Connect the risers in tandem with the hose remnants. Cap the far-end connection. For convenience, add a short piece (about two-feet in length) of hose to the first riser. It's easier to connect an outside hose to another hose than to the ground stake itself.

When all four risers are connected in tandem, the 180-degree spray patterns average about 20 feet in diameter at full force, depending on the water-pressure and wind conditions at the time. Thus, the spray patterns overlap slightly for complete watering. For watering narrow strips of yard or garden, place the risers closer together under a reduced water flow, which reduces the size of the patterns. If patterns other than 180-degrees are needed, adjust the nozzles accordingly, i. e. , 90-degrees (quarter circle) or 360-degrees (full circle).

The 5/8-inch-diameter hoses worked well for the small yard and garden although the use of larger hoses (e. g. , 3/4-inch diameter) will make the patterns slightly larger. The patterns can also be enlarged slightly by removing one or two of risers from the system. Under any of these arrangements, the nozzles themselves spray water efficiently. Ten-to-15 minutes of sprinkling will saturate the lawn or garden with aerated water. For the best results, according to the experts, do this watering early in the morning, late in the evening, or in the shade.


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