Particularities of sprinkler irrigation

The sprinkler is a system widely known and used for watering large quantities of plants with high density. For example, lawns or large farms. It has its advantages and disadvantages, and that is what we are going to try to express today, in Gardenprue. We are also going to tell you the parameters that define a sprinkler irrigation installation. Go ahead.

Although, in principle, sprinkler irrigation has no place at the self-sufficient orchard level  the importance of this system for large farms is undoubtedly important.

Well, you don’t have to go very far, because a house that has a lawn, in a high percentage, will also have sprinklers. We say this because more and more are giving rise to exudative irrigation systems designed for lawns.


If we were to evaluate all existing irrigation systems right now, we would quickly come to the conclusion that the system that comes closest to the way nature waters plants, rain, is sprinkling.

Drip or drip irrigation provides an underground wet bulb, but it does not alter the ambient humidity, and that is not entirely positive. Remember that the way plants breathe is through the stomata , which open and close depending on the dryness of the plant. A humid environment, such as a greenhouse, provides great advantages for the development of the plant.


  • It is imitating the irrigation carried out by the rain, providing environmental humidity and water assimilable by the plants.
  • Leaves and other plant parts are cleaned of dust.
  • Significant savings in labor and resources, compared to watering by blanket or by hand.
  • Uneven areas can be watered without major problems.
  • The temperature of the whole plant is regulated, and not just the roots.


  • It is less efficient than drip and exudate irrigation, in terms of cost and energy savings.
  • There is a risk that pests and diseases appear more likely .
  • If it is very windy, irrigation is difficult or impossible.
  • The evaporated water is much than in underground irrigation systems.

Photo by: Thangaraj Kumaravel


Designing a sprinkler irrigation installation follows a similar scheme to other localized irrigations. It has a system of impulse and pumping, formed by hydraulic pumps (in most cases), and a distribution of pipes and valves, to have water wherever it is desired.

We can practically forget about having elevated tanks without impulsion systems, since in this type of irrigation much more pressure is required.

Regarding swamps or reservoirs, after having been in the Palacio de la  Granja de San Idelfonso  and seeing how the fountains, which work with water by gravity, rose up to almost 20 meters, we preferred not to say anything. 🙂

The sprinkler systems that are normally used in a garden are immobile. For example, those who water lawns. They have the distribution pipe, a collar, a nozzle and a few other parts.

Types of sprinkler irrigation

However, as there are many applications within this irrigation system, we can classify them according to various forms. For example, the working pressure, the turning speed or the mobility of its parts.

Basically we can divide them into stationary and mobile. Among those that do not “move” are those that are fixed during irrigation and then removed. Others that are permanently there (and may or may not be visible when there is no irrigation, as in football stadiums), and finally, those that move and water progressively. The latter are the pivots or traveling cannons, as they are often called.

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