Is it Better to Hand Water or Use a Sprinkler?

When it comes to watering your plants, is hand watering or a sprinkler system a better method? Your plants are exposed to the harsh rays of the sun for many hours daily. For this reason, they need more water so that they will not dry out and die. Which leads to the question: what is the best way to water the lawn? Let us find out the answer below.

Is it better to hand water or use a sprinkler? Hand watering and sprinkler methods have their pros and cons. Hence, it all comes down to a person’s needs and preferences. For small lawns and gardens, hand watering is a good method. However, if you have a large garden or you do not have the time to hand-water your plants; your best option is to install a sprinkler system in your lawn.

Hand watering and sprinkler system are both efficient ways to water your plants. On the other hand, if you have a busy schedule or the garden is too large for you to manage; you can always install a sprinkler system. It is a convenient and easy way to water plants on a schedule. There are many kinds of sprinkler systems that you can choose from. You can purchase the automated ones so you can set the time for the sprinkler to turn on and off on a schedule.

Is it better to hand water or use a sprinkler
Photo by Anthony Lee on Unsplash

What is Hand Watering?

Hand watering is the application of water using a hand-held hose or a watering container. A person should be holding the container or the hose. It is an effective method that you can do if you have a small garden and you would like to personally check your plants as you water them.

Advantages of Hand Watering Your Garden

The advantages of hand watering your garden are that there is no over-watering or under-watering because you can control the amount of water that you use. It will also reduce fungal diseases and you will spend time with your plants so you can determine the specific issues that they are dealing with. Let us discuss more of these advantages below.

Prevents Over-Watering or Under-Watering

Hand watering makes sure that the needs of each plant are catered to. Take note that each plant requires specific amount f water so that it thrives. For instance, you need to lightly water fresh seeded beds while established beds should be watered deeply.

Water is Not Wasted

Hand watering also makes sure that no water is wasted. Using a sprinkler will waste water especially if installed in a small garden. It will only end up getting the soil soaked with more water than it needs. With hand watering, you can control the amount of water that you pour on the plants.

Plant Issues are Easily Noticed

When you hand-water your plants, you will notice any pests that crawl on them. Aside from that, you can check other issues that might affect the growth of the plants. You can easily determine if they need additional fertilizer or if they need to be trimmed. These are the things that can go unnoticed when you use a sprinkler.

Prevents Fungal Diseases

With the hand watering method, you can adjust the amount of water that you pour on the plant depending on its condition. Moreover, soil-borne fungal diseases are a common issue when it comes to growing tomatoes. Take note that fungi thrive in moist and humid conditions. This includes the leaves of the plants that remain wet for a long time. The good thing about watering by hand is that you can direct the water low to the ground which keeps the foliage dry.

✅ Video – How to Water Your Plants Right

Proven Winners shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses how to water your plants right. In the video, Laura shared a few tips and advice on how to water your plants to make them grow better during the summer season. Check out the video below for more information.

Disadvantages of Hand Watering Your Garden

The disadvantages of hand watering your garden are that it may not be efficient and there can be an inconsistency in the watering. Find out more about the disadvantages of hand watering your garden below.

Not Efficient

A disadvantage of hand watering is that it is not efficient. It can be tiring to move the hose or carry the water container around the garden. Aside from that, the hose or the bucket can damage smaller plants in your garden.

Inconsistent Watering

Another disadvantage of hand watering is that it is inconsistent. There is a chance that you will over-water or under-water a plant. You can also get tired from carrying a water bucket around your garden that some plants are not adequately watered because you are already tired and you just want to get the job done.

Not Ideal for Large Spaces

While hand watering is ideal for small gardens or lawns, it is not recommended for large spaces. It is a tiring job to do and you should install a water irrigation system if you have a large garden.

Wastes Water

Using a hose or a bucket can waste some water as you go through your garden. Water can spill from the buckets and can somehow increase the cost of hand watering.

What is a Sprinkler System?

A sprinkler system is a device that is used to irrigate lawns, crops, gardens, and other areas. Using a sprinkler, water goes through a network that consists of valves, pumps, and pipes before it reaches the plants. We have also shared this article that discusses if a sprinkler system save water. You can check out the article for more information.

Advantages of a Sprinkler System for your Garden

Using a sprinkler system for your garden is convenient, eco-friendly, and it can also provide a healthy landscape. Aside from that, a properly installed sprinkler system can improve the resale value of your property. Let us learn more about these advantages below


A sprinkler system provides an easy and convenient way to water your plants. You can schedule when and how long it has to run. Moreover, some sprinkler systems can be controlled using a smartphone app. We have also shared this article that discusses if underground sprinklers are worth it. Check out the article for more tips and ideas that you can refer to.

Healthy Landscape

Your lawn will need about thirty to sixty minutes of watering many times a week according to the climate and soil conditions in your area. Overwatering can lead to an unhealthy landscape. Sprinkler systems can be scheduled to automatically turn on and off so you can rest assured that your garden receives adequate water.


Another advantage of a sprinkler system is that it is eco-friendly. It reduces the amount of water that is used in your lawn and garden. Aside from that, a sprinkler system that is strategically installed helps eliminate the expensive runoff of residential water. They can keep water waste to a minimum so you can save on water bills.

Improves Resale Value

Installing a sprinkler system into your property also increases its resale value. This is because potential buyers would like to have a lawn that is easily maintained. A sprinkler system will make your property more attractive to potential buyers.

Disadvantages of a Sprinkler System for Your Garden

The disadvantages of a sprinkler system for your garden include a high installation cost, over-watering, and much-needed repairs and maintenance. Check out more about these disadvantages below.

Expensive Installation

The cost of installing a sprinkler system will have to depend on the size of your lawn as well as the features that you would like to have. Your lawn needs to be dug up to install piping and attach the sprinkler system into your home’s plumbing system. Once the installation is complete, your lawn needs to be repaired. This can add up to the overall installation cost.


Another disadvantage of installing a sprinkler system on your property is the risk of over-watering. There are instances wherein you turned on the sprinkler and forgot to turn it off. If it is raining, make sure that your sprinklers are off. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of water.


You also have to deal with repairs. Sprinkler heads can get damaged after many years of use. The good thing is that most of the issues can be fixed with simple adjustments and repairs. Furthermore, underground pests that dig around your lawn can damage the in-ground sprinkler systems.


Aside from the repairs, you also need to do regular maintenance to prevent damages such as water leaks from happening. You should also winterize your sprinkler to avoid the pipes from freezing.

Is a Hose Better than a Sprinkler?

A soaker hose is better than a sprinkler system. This is because soaker hoses can save up to eighty percent water. They are the best option during the summer seasons.

Is Hand Watering Better than Sprinklers?

Hand watering is the simplest way to irrigate your garden but whether or not it is between sprinklers will have to depend on a few factors. Hand watering is ideal for smaller gardens. On the other hand, if you have a big garden, it is best to install a sprinkler system because it can be tiring to walk around while carrying a bucket or hose.

Does a Sprinkler Use a Lot of Water?

Sprinklers can use a lot of water depending on the sprinkler head that is used. A typical sprinkler uses a standard 5/8 garden hose. It can produce about 1,020 gallons of water an hour. You can also check out this article titled, what is an in-ground irrigation system? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


In this article, we have discussed if it is better to hand water or to use a sprinkler. The best choice would have to depend on various factors. Each method has its pros and cons so it is recommended that you weigh out your options to find the best method for your garden. Thank you for reading!

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