Getting started with Mister Landscaper is easy to do whether you choose drip irrigation, micro sprays or a combination of the two. All you need is an outdoor water faucet and a little bit of time - typically less than an hour. That said, there are differences between drip irrigation and micro sprays that one should be aware of to design the very best system possible. Below are the lists of advantages and potential disadvantages to each.
Drip Irrigation Pros
- Drippers tend to have a lower profile compared to micro sprays. They are not as conspicuous in the landscaping.
- On average, a dripper uses only 1-2 gallons of water per hour. That is less than a micro spray.
- Drippers can be used where some micro sprays cannot, as in the case of smaller potted plants and hanging baskets.
- Drippers can be more efficient at watering individual plants.
Drip Irrigation Cons
- Because by design drippers emit such a small amount of water, it can be difficult to see or know when a dripper is clogged. In some cases a plant may go into wilt or die before a problem is detected.
- Drippers are not as easily unclogged as micro sprays.
- Because they emit less water, an increased number of drippers are potentially needed to cover the same amount of area as a single micro spray. This could lead to increased installation time and cost.
Micro Spray Irrigation Pros
- Micro sprays are significantly more adjustable than drippers, from size and shape of spray pattern to gallons per hour used.
- A single micro spray can easily cover multiple plants, while a dripper is much more limited in scope.
- Because micro spray patterns are clearly visible, detecting a clog or a problem with the line is much easier.
- Clogged micro sprays and flow controllers are easily cleaned for simple, hassle-free maintenance.
- Micro sprays can cool plants and efficiently water them at the same time.
Micro Spray Irrigation Cons
- Micro sprays have a larger profile and may be more visible in the landscape.
- Micro sprays are not ideal for certain applications, like small potted plants and hanging baskets.
Soil Type Considerations
One thing to consider when choosing between drip irrigation and micro spray irrigation is soil type. Some soils are better suited for drippers and some soils are better suited for micro sprays. Here is a simple jar test to help determine your soil type. Begin by taking a soil sample from the area you wish to irrigate. Take that dirt and fill a glass jar approximately halfway (Fig. A). Now fill the jar the rest of the way with water (Fig. B). Finally, place the lid and shake the jar well (Fig. C).
Now let the jar rest for 24 hours. Once the soil settles, the results can be classified in one of three ways: sand, loam, or clay. Use the chart below (Fig. D) to help determine your soil type and which kind of irrigation might be best for your situation. Note: Contact your local county extension agency for best watering practices in your area.
Clearly, there are some applications where one type is more suitable than the other. But, there are a number of applications where either is perfectly acceptable. At the end of the day, it’s all about creativity. Know and understand the benefits of each micro spray and dripper and design a system that works for you and your garden or landscape.
With micro sprays, one of the big advantages is coverage. With a single starter kit (MLK-81)
you can cover up to 250 square feet! But within that coverage there is a lot of flexibility, especially in the way of spray pattern selection. Some of the micro sprays are great for large and small area general purpose watering. But there are several micro sprays designed with specific purposes in mind (Fig. E).
Note the various options and their potential uses.
Large Full-Circle Spinner
Ideal for general purpose watering in large open areas.
320º Fan Spray
Suitable for general purpose watering in small areas.
End Strip Spray
Used in small confined areas or to limit overspray in adjoining spaces.
Small Full-Circle Spinner
Ideal for general purpose watering in more compact areas.
180º Half-Circle Spray
General purpose. Idealy used near the edges of landscapes and gardens.
Center Strip Spray
Highly directional. Perfect for long, narrow areas of landscaping.
360º Stream Flat Spray
Large spray pattern is great for broad, open areas.
165º Half-Circle Spray
Half-circle spray keeps water off siding and side walks.
360º Stream Down Spray
Ideal for rose gardens. Keeps water off foliage and petals.
90° Quarter Circle Spray
Ideal for use in tight interior 90º corners.
Drippers tend to be a bit more specialized. Use them in places where a micro spray may be overkill or where you prefer a lower profile. Mister Landscaper Add-A-Drippers (MLD-AAD)
are perfect for creating tree rings (Fig. F). Adjustable dripper stakes (MLD-STA)
are excellent for potted plants of all sizes (Fig. G). PC (pressure compensating) drippers (MLD-.5PC, MLD-PC1, MLD-2PC)
are great for hanging baskets and general use (Fig. H). And drip tubing works well in row gardens (Fig. I).
Whatever your irrigation needs, Mister Landscaper is sure to have a solution. And help is always just a phone call or email away (863-439-3200, Email Mister Landscaper