July 30, 2012

My favorite sprinkler...really!

 Today this blog is from coming from not just Me ( Matt, but also from Joe. 

A few months ago, we agreed to review a couple of sprinklers manufactured by Contech and Rainforest Sprinklers. We are very careful about any products we review, and we take time to test them out fully - putting them through all sorts of real garden scenarios. believe be, we are just not going to write a great review just to free product. This takes work.

The two sprinklers we tested, I split between the two of us. I tested the beutifully designed Rainforest Complete Sprinkler with two way Spike, a sprinkler that is not only easy to handle ) it is so light, and easy to use, you just pick it up and push it back into the soil where ever you want, and it happens to be pretty. I mean, beautiful actually, with it's heart shaped spinning head of recycled plastic. As a designer, I always appreciate good design, and this one - literally, is functional, works perfectly and is attractive. The full monty. Retailing at about $12.00 US, it is a value, too. This sprinkler head comes in a tripod version too for $39.00, which, for our size garden, will me more useful, but this one I am using on the raised beds, and I am ordering more for use inside the greenhouse.


I have to mention that the spray from these Rainforest sprinklers is is quite unique - a misty spray rather than a hard, forceful squirt- which makes them useful for not only soaking the ground, but for use over newly sown seeds ( like my poppies) or over full grown crops, such as the garlic and cabbage. Plus, the fast spinning head is relatively silent, which is refreshing after listening to the 'spish, spish, spish, spank -chic-chic-chic-chic' of typical sprinklers that make ones garden sound like a golf course. These are so quiet, that you only hear the water spraying. These sprinklers also use less water ( about 1/3 less according to the designers) vs most of the competitive oscillating sprinklers, which have more waste, with water squrting all over the place, here, and there - these have a tight range, which is helpful.

And now, Joe's post about the Scarecrow sprinkler.

Matt and I were ask to evaluate the Scarecrow manufactured by  Contech.   One of those sprinklers that we always saw in catalogs, but never really ever though of ordering it because it looked simply like a novelty item. I was going to have to fun with this one!          

In the end, I honestly gave it a true evaluation, with several different scenarios.  Many of which I think the manufacture might never have thought about using it for.  This is not an inexpensive sprinkler - retailing at around $90., but if you have problems with skunks, deer or even raccoons, it will work. The value of saving your crop will need to be evaluated by you - I am not sure that I would spend that much for a sprinkler, but then again, if we had deer, and if they were eating my sweet peas, I think I would not have the slightest problem in investing in one.

I put this device through three tests.

For the first test, the Scarecrow was assigned the task of protecting  my baby chicks and ducklings at night, when I was not able to be there. The chicks were too large to stay indoors, and yet still too small to remain outdoors all alone.  I created an 8x8 square cage which we kept close to the house. Even though I covered the chicks at night with shade cloth, I still feared something would come and take a few away. We have foxes, raccoons, fischer cats and feral cats.

  The sprinkler worked very well for this first test. Often going off with a firm, strong squirt and sound even as I neared the pen ( which was not fun, but at least I knew that it worked.

I used the sprinkler again as the Turkey chicks were becoming older and large enough to go out into the larger pen. I do know for a fact, that some animal got sprayed on one night, as I could see that the coop wall was wet, but I honestly need to add that of all of the animals who got wet, the Joe animal received the most squirts. I kept forgetting to shut it off when I walked in front of it. At least I felt safer knowing that the Scarecrow was there preventing any evil critters from getting to close to the pen.
The baby pullets (Turkeys) and Chicks were not that happy with the spray going off, but the ducks do not seem to mind at all.

For the third test ( I know, a lot of poultry testing here, but we don't really have any deer!), I used it to keep our free range geese and ducks from walking out to the busy road. Usually after it rains, our Chinese geese (and their side-kick -our attack duck) often decide to take a stroll to hang out in the road, stopping all traffic. I placed the Scarecrow at the end of driveway, hoping to see if it might stop them if they decided to take a stroll, stopping them from going into the road?  I set the distance and waited. As I suspected, they started off wandering down to direct traffic., and as they got closer -- they set it off as planned. Off they went - running back home in the other direction.


They tried it a few times and finally became too smart - they figured out they could take a different route to the road.


Then I thought of a solution that they couldn’t walk around.

 Our adult male Indian Runner Runner is sort of a tough guy, (or he thinks he is). He leads the geese around like  penguin and his posse ( attack duck).  He will charge any animal that comes into the yard.  If I walk the kids (the dogs) on a leash  he will rush out at them -  flying out of the bushes and attacking the dogs with his trademark butt-biting.  It did not take him long to earn his name "Attack Duck” or AD for short.

AD prefers to hide in the hosta under our large window, or patrol the perimeter by the gate. His favorite location is a fern covered corner of our fence. There he will hide in the ferns waiting for the dogs stratagizing his attack -  it drives the dogs crazy, as well as us with all the barking. They will be bark like attack dogs, while AD is quacking away, trying to bite their noses through the fence. a comical site to watch. I have tried a lot of ways off keeping him away from the fence.

   I could not help but set the Scarecrow in this final test,  at least, keeps the dogs happy.  AD has not been successful at terrorizing the terriers,  Maybe Contech could try making a larger version?  Just to prevent burglars’ from trying to get into your house?


  1. I went an purchased this right away from your recommendation, simply because as a new gardener, irrigation is one of my challenges. I've spent a fortune on sprinklers and have made a deep path from here to Home Depot, so having someone I trust recommend a product, makes my gardening more fun!

  2. Although I appreciate the sprinkler reviews, I'm laughing out loud at the escapades of the ducks and geese. Too funny!


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