Happy Grass, Happy Lawns, Happy Homes.

Bermuda Grass Sprinklers and Irrigation

If you have read our recommendations on watering already, then you're in the right spot for the next step.  While most homeowners own a garden hose and a sprinkler, many have not thought about their equipment carefully.  Often the purchase choice is based on price or convenience but we will use this page to explain some points that are worth considering during your next visit to the hardware store or garden center.

What type of sprinkler is right for me?

The ultimate sprinkler for bermuda grass is an underground irrigation system with zone control, rain sensors, and automatic programming.  A professional installer will make sure your grass, flower beds and shrubbery are adequately covered by spray or stream heads spaced about your lawn.

But since most of us don't plan on spending thousands of dollars on this type of system, lets look at ideas regarding movable sprinkler devices costing less than a good steak dinner for two.

1) Determine your type of soil.  The harder the dirt under your bermuda grass the slower and softer you'll want the water flow from your sprinkler.  Imagine a light mist or rain sprinkles for extreme cases like clay, packed, or rocky soil.  For the most flexibility, choose a sprinkler device that allows you set the water flow from a solid stream to a misty spray.

2) Understand the grade or slope of your lawn.  The steeper the angle of your yard the faster the water will run off.  Again, as with the type of soil, your sprinkler choice should be focused on how fast the water flow will hit your lawn surface and run.  Some embankments (those, for example, that can only be cut with a hand-held trimmer) may benefit most from a soaker hose.

3) Think about quality.  Inexpensive sprinklers are usually made of cheap plastic and light aluminum.  Spend a little extra money to get heavier plastic, brass fittings, and more metal and your sprinkler should perform better and last longer.  In the long run, it will save you money.

4) What shape is your bermuda grass lawn?  Square or rectangular lawns are usually covered best by oscillating sprinklers, the kind that wave multiple streams of water back and forth.  Lawns defined by rounded borders are typically served better by rotating, whirling or impulse sprinklers.

5) How much lawn to you need to water?  Will you need to move the sprinkler more than twice to water your entire lawn?  If so, consider a traveling sprinkler.   Set on wheels, a traveling sprinkler uses the water pressure to slowly move the sprinkler head across your bermuda grass lawn.  Another option is to purchase additional hoses and sprinklers and chain them together.  This gets a little more expensive and does require strong water pressure but gives you the same effect as a small, underground irrigation system.

Other helpful sprinkler ideas

- A timer.  I can't tell you how may times in my early watering days when I set my sprinklers out with the intention of running them for an hour and instead they ran all night long.  You can get inexpensive mechanical timers at a local hardware store or big box retailer.  Attach it directly to your faucet and then connect your hose to the timer.  Set the timer for your watering schedule and it will turn the water off for you.

- A hose splitter.  These allow you to connect two hoses to the end of a single hose.  With enough pressure, you can water both halves of your bermuda grass lawn at the same time.  Get one made of brass.

- A rain gauge.  How else will you know how much fell on your bermuda lawn during the last storm?

- A separate sprinkler meter from your water municipality.  Most public water systems charge differently (and less) for sprinkler meters.  This is because your primary water use is assumed to go back into the waste water system for treatment and charged both a water and a sewer fee.  Therefore, if you are watering your bermudagrass lawn with a faucet connected to the primary meter at your home or business, you are essentially paying twice.  A sprinkler meter might cost a few hundred dollars to have installed but you'll save money on sewer charges indefinitely.

So take some time to think about your lawn, adjust your watering equipment, and do your best to conserve our planet's water!