Watering new sod can be a delicate task. Proper watering will help determine the long-term quality of your lawn. One of the most important rules for proper watering is uniformity. Therefore, the best type of sprinkler for new sod are those that provide an even spray, rather than trying to water your lawn by hand. But the sprinkler you choose will depend on what type of lawn you have (size and shape).
Here’s eight great sprinklers you will find on the market, each with a unique design, to help you choose the best sprinkler for new sod, and for your personal tastes.
Melnor XT Turbo Oscillating Sprinkler
This tube-shaped sprinkler is clog resistant and designed with built-in flow control, and TwinTouch adjusters that allow you to modify the width of your water’s spray. This allows you to water more narrow sections of grass, or cover large areas with a wide flow of water. This sprinkler also comes with 18 precision nozzles. The turbo-drive motor provides an extra long lifetime for your sprinkler. Zoom control gives you the ability to adjust the overall watering area you’re covering. The Melnor XT Turbo waters up to 4,200 sq.ft.
We’ve been using a Melnor spray nozzle and another Melnor sprinkler (model XT4100) for more than a year now through spring, summer and two autumns plus a winter of storage and both continue to perform very well.
GARDENA 1973 Aquazoom 2700-Square Foot Oscillating Sprinkler
The Gardena 1973 Aquazoom is a tube-shaped sprinkler designed for watering small and narrow rectangular patches of water. This sprinkler comes with an adjustable spray width that ranges from 12 to 46-feet. The Gardena 1973 Aquazoom waters up to 2,700 square feet.
We bought this sprinkler after buying two cheaper oscillating sprinklers first. This Gardena sprinkler is perfect for new sod. It has a lot of adjustment features that lets you regulate the area you want to water–the less expensive ones that I tried first just didn’t provide enough flexibility.
Nelson 818653-1001 Traveling Sprinkler
This travelling sprinkler is built for watering large areas of grass, travelling up to 200 feet, with water coverage up to 13,500 square feet. This sprinkler uses adjustable aluminum spray arms to provide spray ranges of 15 to 55-feet in diameter. Its sturdy cast-iron body is long lasting and durable, with a powder-coat paint that is chip resistant. This sprinkler includes fast, neutral, and slow speed settings. The Nelson 818653-1001 also comes with a convenient automatic shut-off option so you can set it and walk away.
We bought two and wish we bought these sprinklers years ago. We used two new hoses (150 feet total) for our front yard and two old hoses (200 feet total) in the back, and quickly figured out that the Nelson RainTrain travels best on new hoses, perhaps because they are slicker, so we purchased two new hoses for our backyard too.
Melnor Impact Lawn Sprinkler
The Melnor Impact Lawn Sprinkler is compact, with a robust, non-corrosive metal sled, and metal head that will last through many seasons of use. This sprinkler offers easily adjustable water coverage angles that range from 20° to 360°. You can also toggle between partial and full circle watering. An adjustable deflector flap allows you to change the sprinkler’s spray distance from 40 to 85 diameters. You can also change the power of the spray from a soft mist to powerful jet. The Melnor Impact Lawn Sprinkler is backed by a 7-year warranty.
This sprinkler is a very solid piece of hardware with excellent range. After trying 3-4 different sprinklers over the years – none lasted much more than a season. However this one has held up quite well.
Orbit 58308 Tripod Base with Brass Impact
This sprinkler is mounted higher up on a tripod base to maximize water coverage, spraying up to 90 feet in diameter, for a total circle coverage of 6,361. The Orbit 58308 is also made with heavy-duty brass to withstand extreme weather and seasonal wear-and-tear, and prevent rust. This sprinkler also comes with an easily adjustable spray coverage to water sections at a time, or switch to 360° watering. You can also toggle the spray distance radius from 20 to 45 feet. The anti-backsplash arm improves the consistency of the sprinkler’s water spray pattern.
If you need a tripod sprinkler for a raised bed garden or long range sod watering, this one is your choice. The garden we tested on is 35 feet by 50 feet – and there were 12 raised beds total. This Orbit tripod sprinkler fit the bill perfectly. In fact, it was so good, one of our testers purchased another to help water their front lawn too. The telescoping head also gets the height you need to water tall tomato plants in a garden
Gilmour 808763-1001 Circle Pattern Spot Sprinkler
This compact and inexpensive sprinkler is ideal for small patches of grass and miniature, rectangular lawns. The circular spray pattern of this sprinkler covers 30 feet in diameter. The Gilmour’s metal body gives it durability for many seasons use.This sprinkler comes with a 3-year warranty.
This is the perfect shape for a smallish, rectangular vegetable garden. No controls or moving parts so this should last just about forever. Simply adjust water flow/pressure to make the coverage area larger or smaller.
Rain Bird P5RLSP Plastic Impact Sprinkler
The Rain Bird P5RLSP is the same #1 best selling impact sprinkler on the market, but mounted on a large metal spike to drive into your lawn and hold the sprinkler in place. This sprinkler is designed with a double brass-weighted arm for a slow rotation and even water coverage. The diffuser screw optimizes your water coverage by creating smaller water droplets. The Rain Bird P5RLSP can also toggle from partial circle coverage that ranges from 20° to 340°, or full 360° circle coverage.
This sprinkler lives up to its rave reviews and as you can tell we’ve tried out almost every type and brand of sprinkler out there.
Gardena 38124 ZoomMaxx Oscillating Sprinkler
The Gardena ZoomMaxx is a small, compact, and functional unit. This sprinkler is made with 16 flexible rubber nozzles to optimize water coverage. This unit is mounted on a metal step spike, making it easy to set up, and sturdy against heavy winds. The spray head has a convenient swivel function.
Really we have never seen a sprinkler so well built and so adjustable, you can literally dial in a pattern side to side independently, and width independently, as well as adjust the flow.
Here are all the best sprinklers for new sod from this list sorted by price:
Once your new sod has rooted nicely and is looking healthy you can use a trimmer or mow it. Have a better sprinkler for new sod? Any tips on watering? Let us know in the comments below!