While traveling around the country and meeting with commercial nursery growers I’ve seen many different types of irrigation systems. One of the more interesting ones was a unique type of sprinkler mounted on top of PVC riser. Now, this wasn’t just a typical impact sprinkler - this was a head that looked like it was broken and wobbling back and forth. As it turns out, the head was actually designed to perform with this wobbling motion. A motion that produces a uniform pattern of light droplets that travel through the air with minimal influence by wind. This was the Senninger Xcel Wobbler.
When should I use overhead sprinklers to irrigate my containers in my commercial nursery?
Watching these sprinklers a question popped into my head: How can I use them to irrigate my containers? The answer came by looking at the types of containers and the plant material growing in each. The Wobblers were on risers about 3 feet above the surface of the containers and the droplets were landing mostly in the containers.
From these operations it is clear that if containers cover most of the space below the sprinklers, the sprinkler is an efficient method of delivering water and nutrients to the plants. That is when smaller canopies allow containers to be spaced close together, and plant material is less than or equal to the height of the sprinkler head, nearly all of the applied water and nutrients land in the containers.
What are the advantages of the Senninger Wobbler Xcel?
The main advantages of the Xcel Wobbler stem from its low operating pressure and unique design. This sprinkler runs in a pressure range of 10 to 25 PSI, resulting in highly uniform application of small droplets. The low nozzle velocities resulting from lower pressure also reduce evaporation and wind drift. Finally, a wide variety of nozzles with flow rates ranging from 1 to 6 GPM and mid-angle and high-angle deflector plate options provide a seemingly endless variety of patterns.
What type of sprinkler works best on a riser?
There are many types of sprinklers designed for irrigating different crops. In nursery applications, where sprinklers are mounted to the tops of PVC risers, there is another set of design considerations. When an impact sprinkler is mounted to the top of a riser; the riser requires additional stake support to stop the shaking motion created by the impact hammer striking the water stream. In another application, the reaction force of a single stream sprinkler head causes the PVC riser to bend and change the angle and distance of throw. The Wobbler throws water at low pressure in all directions almost simultaneously, eliminating reaction forces and keeping the riser steady. This makes it an ideal head for nursery container applications.
What is the best overhead sprinkler for container irrigation?
Large and highly uniform pattern, small droplet size, good wind resistance, low-pressure operation and no reaction force on risers – the Senninger Wobbler Xcel is the clear winner for irrigating densely spaced nursery containers.