Doofus-Proof Watering: Adjustable Sprinkler and Timer from Dramm

by Genevieve on June 20, 2012

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The initial plan for my home garden was to set up an automated drip irrigation system, but as my garden evolved, I realized how difficult it would be to make that type of setup work for me. Drip systems work best on gardens that have lots of individual shrubs and plants, and I have the sort of garden that might kindly be called “chaotic”, given that I test new plants each year, do odd experiments, and have a fondness for those charming-but-never-in-the-same-place-twice biennials. It’s not the type of garden that I’d design for a client, but as my fellow designers pointed out recently, our home gardens are often more like testing grounds than finished landscapes.

So yeah, while drip systems are lovely, it’s really tough to water a gardener’s garden with one, because of how often things change. That’s where sprinklers like the Dramm ColorStorm Turret Sprinkler come in. I turn it on for half an hour, everything gets a good soaking, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t recall where I sowed the poppy seeds. They come up and do their thing regardless.

Dramm timerOf course, whenever you turn a sprinkler on, you have to remember to turn it off again, and that’s where I’ve had issues in the past. Before Dramm sent me one of their ColorStorm timers, I’d set up the sprinkler with every intention of turning it off again, but then I’d get a phone call, the UPS man would arrive, and one of my employees would ask me to meet them at a jobsite. All the while, my sprinkler’s doing its thing, wasting water and annoying my plants with excess. Not cool.

With this Dramm timer, you turn the dial to however many minutes you’d like to water, it counts down and then shuts off the water at the right time. It’s not automated, so it’s not for people who are mad forgetful – it’s for people like me who can remember that they want to go out and water, but then sometimes get distracted midway through. And thank goodness, it doesn’t run on a battery, so it’s both eco-friendly and lazy person-friendly. It’s like an egg timer where you wind it to the right time and the mechanics inside take care of the rest.

Will the timer last forever? I don’t know. It’s got a lot of plastic parts. But it’s only about $15, and both the sprinkler and the timer are backed by a lifetime guarantee as long as you’re using them normally and not letting your rottweiler chew them. Mine’s been working great for the few months I’ve been testing it – no leaks.

Anyway, back to the turret sprinkler: it’s really the best I’ve seen. I mean, it’s purple, so that’s a point in its favor, but I can promise you I’ve chucked a lot of purple tools over the years that didn’t perform. What I love about it is that it has an adjustable dial to let you choose the shape you’re sprinkling in! How cool is that? If I am watering my lettuce bed, which is rectangular, I can choose the rectangle shape. Or if I’m watering my curved garden bed, I can choose the half-circle pattern so I don’t dampen my fence but do hit all of my perennials.

Because the base is made of metal, it’s not going to crack over time, and like the other Dramm tools I’ve owned over the years, it seems built to last.

Amy Stewart and I talk more about the ColorStorm tools here:

The only innovation I wish Dramm would make is to come up with a tripod for their sprinklers so that I could elevate them above all that healthy foliage! Obviously that’s pretty easy to do yourself – a large brick set on its end works – but I’d love to be able to buy a purple tripod with a stand at the top so I could set the sprinkler at the right height. Hopefully that’s next in the product lineup (or am I the only person who would buy that?).

Giveaway! Since these two products are a natural fit to use together, Dramm has generously offered to send one of you lucky readers a set of your own. To enter, just leave a comment saying which color you’d like for your new Turret Sprinkler and ColorStorm Timer (red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple), and I’ll choose a winner at random next Wednesday the 27th. US only.

EDIT: Julia won! Congrats, Julia.


{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlotte Owendyk June 20, 2012 at 4:14 am

Please pick me—PLEASE! PURPLE PLEASE…….

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John June 20, 2012 at 5:25 am

Would love to try the orange, can always use a new watering timer!

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Kristin June 20, 2012 at 5:40 am

What a valuable tool the watering timer would be! I can’t count how many times I have started watering a garden bed to come back hours later to a flooded mess! Oops! :)

Red please! Thanks for the opportunity at another giveaway!

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Jen. June 20, 2012 at 5:51 am

Purple, please? Thank you!

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Eileen June 20, 2012 at 6:06 am

Always, always ORANGE!

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Barbara Novak June 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

As queen of the blond gardeners, I challenge the purple set to prove it is doofus proof.

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Evelyn Vincent June 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

Blue. Thanks!

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semg June 20, 2012 at 6:24 am

This product seems a gift from the gardening gods for my dilapidated memory. Blue, please, pretty please.

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Colleen June 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

Purple please! Boy do I need one of these (and is it only me or does it seem like everyone like purple these days? Wish more people would make garden tools in it!!) Thanks!

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Pete B June 20, 2012 at 7:26 am

I’ll put in for purple. Who could resist?

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Vicky June 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

I’d like a purple one. Thanks for the giveaway.

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Jim Crowell June 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

A lovely shade of yellow would be nice and a timer would just be great as well.

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ChrissyMN June 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

The purple is quite nice!

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Kate June 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

I would LOVE red or orange! I heart Dramm.

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Aaron Barr June 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

Ahhh, purple. How could you go wrong with royalty in the garden??? Count me in.

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Jan Walton June 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

Green please!!

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Kara June 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

Amazing! I’ve been very into purple lately, so that would be my pick! I am definitely prone to forgetting things I start, so a sprinkler timer would be fabulous.

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Della Wilson June 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

Definitely purple for the Turret Sprinkler and ColorStorm Timer. I’ll have everything in my garden purple if I can.

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Terry June 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

Oh, I would be that other person who buys your tripod idea! Since I have VERY low water pressure, I use a fan sprinkler (the kind on a spike) quite a bit, but only my little antique one has the right shape and sprays evenly (is there a new fan sprinkler out there worth anyone’s time???), and it has a very short spike. My husband has offered to weld on a longer spike, but I don’t want to alter it since it is old and a family heirloom of sorts. I try all sorts of odd contraptions to elevate this and other sprinklers, and am never really satisfied. Please let me know if you invent one! I would also like to win the set, but if it won’t work on low pressure, I will have to donate to someone else…

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Deirdre June 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

I set my sprinkler up on an old metal stool. I use a couple of rocks or bricks to hold it in place. Soaker hoses are good in some ways, but the birds really appreciate sprinklers. They come flocking around for the water. I just make sure to water early or late so I don’t lose too much to evaporation.

Maybe I should paint the stool to match my sprinkler.

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Coco Thorpe June 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

This looks like a brilliant idea! I could sure use one of these sets.

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Jessica McKnight June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

The purple is lovely, but I’m a red all the way kind of gal. Thanks much for this chance to win. I love the look of the time. can it be purchased if I don’t win?

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Nicole June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

Purple and/or green! Or blue.

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Terry June 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Purple, purple, purple. Lovely!

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Lisa Finch June 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Orange! I think that the orange sprinkler would would show up so nicely in green foliage!

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Michelle D. June 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I purchased an orange Dramm hose and have to say it is one of the best. It does kink sometimes but it is a lot more lighter in weight than the super heavy Sears non-kinkers.
I still water by hand and enjoy the process, it gives me the chance to be in the garden every other day or more.
The purple timer sounds intriguing, especially knowing that it does not have a battery and the price seems to be a great value. Would love to have one in my Dramm arsenal.
Good luck to all.

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Amy R June 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Orange, please! Thanks for all the great giveaways, as well as the accompanying reviews.

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Gail June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the chance to win a PURPLE sprinkler and timer! I could use then during our extended drought here in Middle Tennessee.

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Ed Remsrola June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Remembering to turn the water off, yes, certainly as important as turning it on to begin with. Please do pick me and send a red set right on over. :^)

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Michelle June 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

My garden has outgrown hand watering, but I haven’t put in any other system yet- time to change that soon. Colorwise, I’m all about blue.

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Niko June 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I have selectively overwatered for years. Save me blue sprinkler/timer!

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karen kennedy June 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Oh a toss up between purple and the blue! I have several other Dramm products and very happy with all of them. Good timing on this I just had two sprinklers break and a hose is just about to break from old age! Pick me Pick me :)

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Michael June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Purple would match the house trim-to-be. . .

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Julia Graham-Whitt June 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

purple please. I give up being pithy, since the random picker thingy seems to hate me, but this would be AWESOME in my very chaotic garden. :)

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Erin @ The Impatient Gardener June 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I’d love to win this. And don’t kill me for saying this, but I’d take it in any color other than purple (running and hiding). I suppose red if I had to choose. And I could really use it to help deal with the drought we have going on (with no relent in sight).

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Linda June 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I would love green or yellow!!

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kathy holmes June 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Purple pleases me! Such a happy color,
thanks

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Kate June 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Red would be perfect!

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dheckert (Scholar's Garden) June 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

I would be so thrilled to get a yellow one – my plot in the community garden would so appreciate it!

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Gmarieb June 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

Blue, blue, blue. My husband would love me to have them, particularly the time. I would love these accessories. Thank you so much.

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Stevie (@Garden_Therapy) June 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

These Dramm products are fabulous!

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Jessica M June 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

Oh I love orange! What a fun giveaway!

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Bria June 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

Ha! I know about the gardener’s distractions. Right now I am supposed to be weeding my veggie patch but I noticed one of my dahlias hadn’t come up so I had to come inside to read about planting depth and problem-solving and now here I am catching up on blog reading.

Red would work best for me–I lose my green sprinkler all the time ;-)

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Maxus June 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

Can I try a red, yah red would be good

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Beth Morrison June 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Any color will do. Would love to have something like this for my backyard that dosen’t have a sprinkler system. It would be perfect.

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muddyboots June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Yellow !
You lose track of time. I lose track of irrigation tools when I remove them from the hose temporarily.

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lorna June 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

purple!

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LIZA AND JOHN"S GARDEN June 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I would like a purple one.

Thank You,
John

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James H Thompson June 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Orange would be great!

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Jim Vandegriff June 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I’ll take green please (to match my new roof color). Thanks for writing these up.

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Jackie DiGiovanni June 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

Super idea. I would love the blue color.

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Carolyn June 23, 2012 at 4:28 am

Blue, please!

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Nicky @dirtandmartinis June 23, 2012 at 7:47 am

I’m a sucker for orange.

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Kathy M June 23, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Ooh – cool! I’d love a blue one!

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Richsunshine June 24, 2012 at 3:50 am

Ah purple, easy to find. Som sort of camera or lighting tripod might work , or a PVC setup hmmm I see a project approaching.

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Allison June 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm

OOH! This would be perfect for me! I’m all about purple!

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Sheri Moore-Smith June 25, 2012 at 7:50 am

Just found your blog and LOVE it! That sprinkler would work great for my upcoming vacation. Gotta love BLUE in the garden!

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Marion June 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

Thank you so much for the giveaway. Green would be divine. Thanks!

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Buzz Iowa June 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Yellow

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Wilma June 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Red please.

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Tara June 26, 2012 at 7:47 am

“it’s really tough to water a gardener’s garden with one, because of how often things change”
This is SO true, and made me laugh!! Nice post.

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Dave June 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

With our current drought conditions these would be really helpful with getting the watering done! Let’s go green!

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Ona Volk June 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

I would love green.

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Judy F. June 26, 2012 at 11:07 am

I would LOVE the purple!

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Laura Cottrell June 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I would love one of these, especially with the drought we are having! I think the purple is awesome!

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lorraine ayre June 28, 2012 at 4:56 am

I think I’m a day late, but I just discovered your site and I love it! So if you haven’t given it away yet, I’d love a purple one! It will match my beloved Dramm watering wand and twisty spray-pattern-of-your-choice thingy that I use to spray aphids off my collards. Anyway, your site is beautiful and informative, and I look forward to my subsciption arrivals. Great work!

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