A History of Lawn Irrigation

From twirling sprinklers connected to a garden hose to intricate in-ground lawn irrigation, technology has simplified watering and brought the promise of a green lawn to millions of homeowners.

How Green Is Your Golf Course?
Lawn irrigation, like most things involving turf grass, was initially developed for golf course applications. In the mid 1800s, Scottish fairways were irrigated by mule-drawn water carts. In the 1880s, Scottish golf course superintendents began watering greens.

You Can Lead A Sprinkler To Water…
In the 19th century, many people were envious of the green grass maintained at golf courses, parks and mansions. It wasn't until the advent of municipal water supplies, however, that many people could consider lawn irrigation.

As municipal water systems spread, the invention of residential lawn irrigation devices followed. The first American patent for a lawn sprinkler was issued in the early 1870s. By 1900 hoses, hose reels and lawn sprinklers were widely advertised.

Beyond The Basic Sprinkler
Golf course irrigation once again led the way with the development of underground irrigation in the post-war 1950s. The development of automatic timers followed in the 1960s. By the 1970s, the technology and price of lawn irrigation came into the reach of residential consumers.

Today, automated lawn irrigation is very popular, but the simple hose-tethered sprinkler still owns a hefty share of the market. A cheap, reliable alternative to underground lawn irrigation, the sprinkler is flexible and cheap to replace.

One Drip At A Time
Drip irrigation had been used for thousands of years, first with clay pots and later with clay pipes. It was the invention and availability of plastic after Word War II, however that made drip irrigation a popular alternative.

The development of micro tubing and drip-emitters in the 1960s created a system for applying drip irrigation to suburban landscapes. The addition of automated timers in the 1970s and 1980s led to the widespread use of drip irrigation for shrubs and garden plants.

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