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Living in Australia, water is often less of a right than it is a privilege. Long hot summers can be a taxing time, but while we’ll always ensure that we’re hydrating ourselves as we should, our lawns are often more easily forgotten.

There are a variety of ways to ensure that your lawn is watered as it should be. From the basic to the upmarket, here are the four most popular lawn watering solutions, and what each will offer your turf.

Hand Watering

When I say basic, I mean basic. Hand watering is the art of using a normal hose, preferably with a spray head, to water your turf. While it’s the perfect way to water potted plants and even flower beds, it is incredibly inefficient in watering larger areas. Hand watering is bound to end up delivering an uneven amount of water to different parts of your lawn, creating bare patches that might sit right next to vigorously growing patches.

While hand watering has merit in helping new seeds germinate in a small patch of soil, apart from that it should be used as an emergency option only.

Portable Sprinkler System

The most common lawn watering method, sprinklers are able to deliver an even, steady spread of water to a large area. There are a few different types of sprinklers available for your household lawn, including;

Oscillating – These sprinklers rotate back and forth like a fan, shooting thin jets of water in the air to cover large areas
Impact – Impact sprinklers do the same, but rotate in a full circle
Stationary – These sprinklers have no moving parts, and simply cover the area in which they’re placed
Travelling – Travelling sprinklers are sprinklers on wheels, which spray as they move. These sprinklers are great for large, level lawns.
Depending on the size and shape of your yard, and the ease of water access, the sprinkler option to suit your lawn will vary. But by choosing the correct one, you’ll get a fantastically efficient method of watering your lawn.

Drip Irrigation

If you live in a particularly dry part of Australia, where water use is heavily regulated, you may need an option that is a little less wasteful than hand or sprinkler watering. Both of these methods tend to leave a lot of water sitting on the surface, which is quickly evaporated in the heat of an Australian summer. Drip irrigation seeks to solve that problem.

Drip irrigation uses a drip hose to secrete water slowly and steadily, allowing the maximum amount to be soaked up by the soil and roots. Unfortunately the fact that drip irrigation doesn’t spread its water out means that it isn’t great for lawns. The water is deposited right next to the hose, meaning that only a small percentage of the lawn is ever watered at once. While it’s great for flower beds and veggie patches, drip irrigation is not the best option for your turf.

Built-In Irrigation

The most expensive, but most effective, option to water your lawn is built-in irrigation. A built-in system is installed prior to your lawn being planted. Trenches are dug and pipes are fitted in order to carry the water to all parts of the lawn. While the upfront cost of this work may be high, the ongoing costs are minimal.

Built-in systems usually use a sprinkler-type setup to spray the lawn with water. Because they are purpose-built to deal with your specific lawn, they water in the most effective and efficient way possible. They are also automatic, so you can set your system to come on at whatever time you please. This can help you to minimise the effects of evaporation, by setting your timers to water in the late evening or early morning.

If you live in Australia, your lawn deserves a drink. And depending on which watering system you choose, how you deliver that drink can prove to be just as important as the water itself.