There are a lot of watering gadgets, tools, and products out there. It’s always great to learn from another gardener’s experience, so we asked some gardening experts about their favorite smart-watering tool. Here’s what they said.
(Director of Horticulture, Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, Boothbay, Maine)
I recommend properly installed, maintained, and monitored drip irrigation systems that efficiently apply water at ground level as needed.
Rain Bird PATIOKIT Drip Irrigation Patio Watering Kit
(Head of Grounds and Gardens, Getty Museum, Los Angeles)
My suggestion is to use a soil moisture probe or meter to assess watering needs prior to watering. In my thinking, schedules are a recommendation, not a rule. Apply the right amount of water when needed.
XLUX Soil Moisture Meter
(Grounds Supervisor and Horticulturist, The Gardens at Ball, West Chicago, Illinois)
In order to have a few less things to worry about when your plants need water, equip yourself with heavy-duty and long-lasting hoses, brass valves, and nozzles. Also, have lots of rubber O-ring washers on hand to prevent leaky hose connections.
Dramm Revolution Adjustable 9-Pattern Metal Hose Nozzle
Morvat Heavy Duty Brass Y-Valve
Gilmore Rubber Hose Washer 10pk
(Curator of the Alpine Collection, Denver Botanic Garden, Denver)
I rely on Gilmour sprinklers for defined patterns that apply water efficiently to where I want it.
Gilmour 811673-1001 Sprinkler
(Residential Landscape Consultant and Designer, Janesville, Wisconsin)
I’m a huge fan of the inexpensive, plastic Nelson Multi-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler with eight spray patterns. I attach a brass shut-off valve to modify volume as needed and use a brick or rock to anchor this sprinkler in target areas for directed coverage, particularly in smaller target areas that need a “refined touch.”
Nelson Multi-Pattern Stationary Sprinkler
(Director of Horticulture, Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina)
At Biltmore, we have started replacing many of our standard pop-up mist heads with multi-trajectory rotating nozzles in our irrigation systems. We have found that this increases efficiency as well as plants getting a more accurate amount of water, and it reduces waste. We also water when the plants need it, not on a specific schedule.
Hunter Industries MP-1000-90 Hunter Nozzle
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