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FAQ: What are common watering systems and how do I use them?

Watering Wand RainWiseA: Three common watering systems are watering wands, automatic irrigation, and soaker hoses. Watering wands are used for individual plants or small garden beds, while automatic irrigation systems are used for larger lawn or garden areas that require regular watering. Soaker hoses are used for food gardens and new trees.

Are you having trouble getting your garden and plants to thrive? Does your lawn have uneven patches of color? Consider looking into different watering systems. Let’s discuss three common watering systems—watering wands, automatic irrigation, and soaker hoses—and their uses, advantages, and disadvantages.

Watering wands

Use: These are commonly used to water individual plants or small garden beds.

Advantages: They are easy to use and allow you to control the amount of water that specific plants receive. Watering wands also allow water to be applied to plant roots; this saves water and encourages plants to grow deeper, stronger roots. Directly watering roots can also prevent fungal diseases since fungi thrive in humid, moist conditions like on leaves that remain wet for long periods of time.

Disadvantage: Using watering wands for large areas can be time consuming and wasteful.

Automatic irrigation

UseAutomatic irrigation systems are used for larger lawn or garden areas that require regular watering.

Advantages: The advantage of automatic irrigation systems is their convenience. Automatic watering saves you time and energy and is helpful when you’re busy or out of town.

Disadvantages: These systems are less efficient than other methods, can be expensive to install, and require regular maintenance. You should weigh the pros and cons of convenience vs. efficiency.

Already have an irrigation system? Consider installing a smart timer to make it more efficient. You may even qualify for a $100 rebate for the irrigation timer!

Soaker hoses

Use: Soaker hoses are best used for level garden or tree beds, and for food gardens.

Advantages: Soaker hoses require less time than hand-watering and result in less water evaporation than hose-end (overhead) sprinklers.

Disadvantages: They are not suitable for uneven or sloped beds and require proper placement to ensure that the soil is evenly moist. Overwatering can also be a concern since it is hard to see the amount of water being used. They only work in lengths of up to 200 feet because the flow of water decreases beyond that length.

As you can see, different watering systems have different benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to match the correct system to your yard’s needs. Click here to learn about other types of watering systems, like sprinklers and drip irrigation systems.

Remember: watering wisely not only saves you money on your utility bill, it helps ensure that we’ll have enough water for generations—of people and wildlife—to come.