Seeing the upside of the irrigation category
May 2015 marked the wettest May and month of any month since record keeping for the contiguous U.S. began 121 years ago. As a result, many states now have little or no drought issues. However this is not the case in the Western U.S., particularly in California and Oregon. Mother Nature is making it very hard for those in the Western U.S. to maintain lush shrubs, green lawns, beautiful flower beds, and plump vegetables and/or fruits.
It is important to embrace the environmental impact that the weather in 2015 is inflicting on the irrigation category. There is a great upside to this however because there are products on the market that will help your customers with providing solutions that can be done as a small project(s) to save water. The main culprits of landscaping water waste are Over-spraying and Over-watering. Help your customers with winning the battle against over-spraying and over-watering. Whether in Pennsylvania or California or somewhere in between, make sure your irrigation category has these water-saving/conserving items:
Short Range Spray Nozzles – We’ve all seen it…the needless over-spraying in the form of white arches stained on wood fences due to the sprinklers spraying on it, one’s sprayheads overshooting and watering the neighbor’s shrubs, and/or the water spray on the sidewalk. Here’s a solution for your customers. New to the retail channel last season, Orbit Irrigation has a range of spray nozzles that cover from 3 to 4’ radius up to 11 to 12’ radius. 90+% of the sprayheads sold have the standard 15’ spray nozzle installed in it (15’ radius). These short-distance spray nozzles can be used to replace nozzles in any Rain Bird, Orbit, or Hunter spray heads and are an ideal remedy for smaller spaces or odd shaped areas. Your customers still need to maintain properly overlapping coverage with spray heads but with a bit of tweaking of the adjustment screw (found on the top of spray head nozzles) and knowing approximately how many feet the overspray is, they can keep from watering their fence.
Dual Spray Nozzles – A common complaint you might hear from your customers is about the lawn is having ‘brown spots’ which are typically around the spray head or in patches between spray heads. Most homeowners try to remedy the brown spots by increasing the watering time. However, increasing the watering time is not the answer. Lincoln Products recommends selling your customers Dual Spray Nozzles from Rain Bird. Dual Spray nozzles are exactly the same as those used by irrigation contractors and they can help cut the watering time down by 30%. This nozzle series has a patented close-in watering for uniform watering. Simply stated, the Dual Spray Nozzle puts out the same amount of water as a standard nozzle but there is flat spray and there is the traditional arched spray. So it waters close up and through the 12’ radius resulting in the elimination of dry brown spots. Thus reducing the customer’s watering time and water usage. Perfect for windy conditions as well. You must stress to your customer that proper coverage is still needed but that these nozzles will provide a solution to brown spots and prevent over-watering.
Drip Manifolds – Gone are the days where shrub heads and bubblers are used for watering shrubs. Instead of spraying and/or bubbling the shrubs anywhere from 0.5 to 2.4 GPM (gallons per minute) per shrub head with the water is not always going right where it is needed, sell your customers on converting their shrub sprays to a drip manifold. Drip Manifolds use from 0-20 GPH (gallons per hour) per port depending on the manifold and there are several configurations available to sell. At Lincoln Products, our favorite drip manifold is the Six Port Adjustable Drip Manifold from DIG Corporation. Beneficial if your customer has a few different type of shrubs that require different watering levels. Easy project for customers to undertake…..Just remove the existing sprayheads in the shrub area, place a Schedule 80 riser or cut off riser in its place then cap off all but one or two depending on the size of the area. Place the drip manifold on the uncapped riser(s), place on the ¼” drip tubing and desired dripper/drip spray, and they’re done. It is important to make sure your customer is converting a complete area that is tied into the timer and not just part of the area. Sprinklers (gallons per minute output) and Drip irrigation (gallons per hour output) put out vastly different amounts of water. Drip manifolds can also be used in other applications such as watering flower beds and vegetables.
Drip Irrigation– Drip Irrigation is to the Irrigation category is like the High Efficiency washer is to the appliance category. Drip irrigation equates to efficient use of water, healthier plants, and money savings for your customer. And it equates to higher margins for you (verses Underground irrigation products).
If you do not have drip irrigation products in your store and for your customers, you are missing out on one of the fastest growing categories in Plumbing and Lawn & Garden. DIG Corporation, the leading drip irrigation manufacturer is experiencing a 20%+ growth so far in 2015 on top of double digit growth for the past three years. Drip irrigation is not just for the desert climate, watering succulents, or for drought-stricken states of California and Oregon. It can be used for flower beds, hanging plants, vegetable gardens, condo patio gardens, trees, and much more. Go to www.digcorp.com for ideas.
In short, it is important that the irrigation category be embraced and tweaked to meet the current needs of the marketplace due to environment changes. Some simple changes in your irrigation category will make your business relevant and you will have a competitive advantage against the big boxes. Lincoln Products has a full line of DIG, Orbit, and Rain Bird irrigation products in addition to stocking other leading irrigation brands such as Toro, Champion, Lawn Genie, and others. For over 60 years, Lincoln Products has been providing the irrigation category solution and can help your business with irrigation. For our complete offering, go to www.lincolnproducts.com and click on “products”. Or call us for more details. 800.735.4503.