sprinkler spacing

How to Determine Your Sprinkler Spacing

It’s hard to make sure that your sprinklers cover every inch of your grass. Sometimes it might seem like every part of your lawn is getting watered but you still have brown spots showing up. Sprinkler spacing takes some planning, but it can be done so that your entire lawn receives adequate water. There are some factors that you’ll have to take into consideration when you’re trying to determine your sprinkler spacing. The shape and size of your lawn are both things that you need to take into account in order to best create a sprinkler system that covers your lawn. This article will help you determine your sprinkler spacing. 

Head-to-Head Coverage

What is head-to-head coverage and why is it important? Head-to-head coverage means that the area that the sprinklers water will overlap each other. The distance that one sprinkler sprays should reach the next sprinkler, making the sprays overlap. This is very important when you’re determining sprinkler spacing. Sprinklers that are too far apart will result in unwatered spots. Sprinklers that are too close together can result in overwatering. Each sprinkler head must be placed so that the very edge of one sprinkler lands on the sprinkler adjacent to it. This creates the best overall coverage for your entire lawn. 

Different Lawn Shapes

Rectangular Lawns

sprinkler spacing

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Most lawns are rectangular. Rectangular lawns are pretty standard nowadays and sprinkler spacing is easier to determine than it would be for an oddly shaped lawn. The trick is to plan as few sprinkler heads as possible while still receiving full coverage. The more sprinkler heads you add to your sprinkler system, the more costly it will be to install. This is why it’s so important to plan carefully and efficiently. Start by putting sprinkler heads in each of the four corners of your lawn. Then add more around the perimeter as necessary. This means you’ll have to see how far the corner sprinkler heads reach in order to determine where your perimeter heads should go. Put a sprinkler head in the middle of your lawn if other sprinkler heads cannot reach it.

Rounded Lawns

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Lawns that have rounded sections are a little harder to plan. You’ll have to pay a little more attention to each sprinkler heads spray. Sprinkler heads for rectangular lawns can generally all have the same size and shape of spray. Each sprinkler head will have to be customized for lawns that are rounded. There tends to be a lot of overspray if you use the same sprinkler heads all around your rounded lawn. This is because rounded lawns don’t have equal distances on each side. A sprinkler that is watering to the top of the rounded edge of the lawn needs to go much further than a sprinkler that just needs to water the corner of the rounded edge. You should adjust the sprinkler heads spray distance accordingly. This will prevent overspray that can spray cars, fences, and cause your lawn or property to slope.

Narrow Strips of Lawn

sprinkler spacing

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Many rectangular lawns also have strips of lawn on the other side of the sidewalk that goes through their property. These are often called parking strips. These can also be a little more tricky to determine sprinkler spacing. Since strips of lawns are a lot narrower than rectangular lawns, their sprinkler heads need to be a little different. You’ll need a sprinkler head that doesn’t spray in an arch like most sprinkler heads, but rather a rectangular pattern. This reduces overspray and let’s the grass get plenty of water to stay green. Narrow strips of rectangular grass usually has a sprinkler head in each corner, with heads in the middle as necessary.

Navigating Around Obstructions

Lawns aren’t always a big open space that can be easily watered. A lot of times there are tree roots, trees, or other obstructions in the way. Careful planning will need to go into navigating around them. You’ll need to make sure that the only sprinkler that can water a certain portion of your lawn isn’t behind a big shade tree, making that spot impossible to water. Each portion of grass around the tree needs to have access to water. The tree will block some of the water that comes from certain sprinklers but if you plan carefully enough, that will be minimal. Look at different sprinkler heads and use proper sprinkler spacing to successfully water your lawn regardless of whether there is a tree in the way or not. 

Benefits of Planning Sprinkler Spacing

Save Time and Money

Plan your sprinkler system and spacing before you start installing it because it will save you time and money. Digging trenches, buying sprinkler heads, and installing pipes, all cost money and require labor. Insufficient planning might cause you to incorrectly install pipes or sprinkler heads, wasting time and money. The last thing you’d want is to start installing your sprinkler system and realize that you have done the spacing wrong and you need to start over. What a waste of your time and money. Don’t skip the planning! 

Adequate Water for Your Lawn 

Proper planning will also help you have proper sprinkler spacing, which will ensure that your entire lawn gets adequately watered. The shape of your lawn plays a large part in your sprinkler spacing and planning before installing will save you a lot of heartache. You won’t have yellow spots in your lawn because you’ve made sure that each spot in your lawn is receiving enough water, and your lawn will look fantastic!

Save Water

You’ll also save water by planning your sprinkler spacing because it will reduce overspray that doesn’t get on your lawn at all. The less overspray you have, the better you lawn will look and the less damage you’ll have to other parts of your property. You’ll be able to save that water instead of letting it go to waste with overspray.

Summing Up

Sprinkler spacing is very important when you’re planning your sprinkler system. You wouldn’t be able to have an efficient sprinkler system without proper sprinkler spacing. You’d have a lot of overspray and yellow spots on your lawn from the water not overlapping. It’s important to plan your sprinkler spacing very carefully to help your lawn be green and healthy. You’ll be able to find proper sprinkler spacing, whatever the shape of your lawn is. Make sure you remember to have each sprinkler heads spray overlap each other so that there are no spots that aren’t being watered. Use this as a guide to help you determine your sprinkler spacing so that you’ll be able to successfully plan a sprinkler system.

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Denali Gillen

I am a farmer’s wife living a farmer’s life. I love having wide open spaces and plenty of space to raise a family. Making the most out of outdoor spaces is something I never get tired of!

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