Readers Write: Using Your Sprinklers: Civilized Edition

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This is an article on how to use your sprinklers to remain the safest, smartest and most respectful lawn-growers this side of the rest of the island that doesn’t matter.

Why should you trust me? Honestly, you probably shouldn’t. I am just a well-educated young woman trained in simple areas, such as basic physics and the behavior of our beloved chemical H2O.

Okay, I learned those in high school, I dealt more with graduate-level math in college. I’m also not educated on the laws in Port Washington or Nassau county! Too much work. This is an etiquette article.

Pick your system. Don’t ignore this step, it’s very important. Many lawns are not just a square block, but a deformed one full of variety and divots.
Choose a sprinkler that hits the required distance and no more. No extra spray.
Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.

Positioning. This is where it gets complicated. With sprinklers, your goal is to maximize coverage to your lawn while minimizing the number of sprinklers used, otherwise you’re just lazy and don’t care where your water goes.
This is where my professional knowledge comes in. I know for a fact that due to the properties of water and gravity, hitting your yard just short is fine. Why? Because all of your properties angle towards the street (unless you’ve been flooded in the last year), and water likes to spread out and travel using the power of adhesion. Not only is your water going to move downhill, but it also wants to get to every nook and cranny that will have it. Thus, your corners are gonna be fine.
Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.

Extraneous Spray Considerations. Sometimes your water will go places other than your lawn, but this wastes water. See below for some water-saving tips.
You should know that the sidewalk (concrete) does not benefit from being watered. It looks so barren and you just want to nurse it back to health, I know!

But it will never happen, and in the meantime, you’re forcing your neighbors or friendly travelers into the would-you-rather-game of “Would you rather get sprayed aggressively with 3+ sprinklers, or step out into traffic?”

Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.

Timing. I’m not an expert on HOA and other town ordinances so let’s leave it at that. Legalities aside, why would you run them during the day when you know there are people who might not want to get sprayed? Strategies could be:

Try some other, less populated time. Try 2 a.m. or even earlier at 12 a.m. Mix it up, I’m sure you creative fleshy containers of thought can come up with something.
Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.
That strip of grass between the sidewalk in the pavement. Let’s be clear, this isn’t yours. Town landscapers will come on by and trim the trees, they just won’t make the underbrush live past its natural lifecycle. You have about three options:
Let it be, knowing the circle of life will complete a little earlier, but the grass will rise again in the spring.
Set up your own sprinkler system on this patch (responsibly) so that the water only covers the strip of grass, not the sidewalk.
Set up your own sprinkler system on this patch (irresponsibly), making both the sidewalk and the street a bothersome walking location. This is the ideal situation if you want to be a jerk.
Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.

In case you’re thinking “Well, this young woman is just a dirty pedestrian, use a car you herb!”, it is true that I have been known to be a young woman and dirty pedestrian, and I do own a car without using it all the time. Keep in mind though, being sprayed interferes with the principles of the founding fathers: my right to life (I lose a year off my life every time I’m hit by sprinkler water), liberty (from sprinkler water and and people driving like their children don’t live there), and the pursuit of happiness (I get grumpy when I’m sprayed by water.)

Alternative: hire a nice man or woman to come over and spray your lawn with a hose for you for a small sum. Support local businesses and let others choose your schedule.

My personal opinion, outside of all those stated above which are a loose attempt at seeming objective, is that maintaining your front lawn is an outdated, wasteful status symbol, and that desiccated lawns actually look cool. Embrace the future!

Kendra Garwin
Port Washington

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