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Best Walking Sprinkler

If your yard looks like the scorched earth terrain from a Mad Max movie then you need to investigate the National/Rittenhouse Walking Sprinkler.

This is the creme de la creme of yard sprinklers.


One word. It is solid. Okay that’s three words but you get my drift.

The Rittenhouse lawn sprinkler (National) is one solid beast that stalks irresolutely across your yard watering your lawn as it goes. This is the original walking sprinkler that every other one has been based on since it came out in the 1930s.

The problem with the other designs is they try to cut the cost by using cheap plastic parts. Result – stripped gears and runaway sprinklers. Yard sprinklers are a dime a dozen but you get what you pay for.

Runaway sprinklers?

Yes, really! When I was asking friends and neighbors trying to decide what sprinkler to buy for our yard, I heard horror stories of sprinklers that jumped off their hose (because they’re too light) and headed off down the road sprinkling as they went!

Rest assured, you will never have those sort of problems with this one.

It weighs around 30lbs and this means that it stays on the hose track. No more racing outside to put it back on track – or worse chasing it down the road!

It has both adjustable speed and width of spray so can be used in variety of situations. Width of spray can be set to between 4 to 50 feet which gives you enormous adjustability. I have heard of someone watering their roof two stories up so keep those windows closed until you’ve got your settings right!

It can even manage a slight incline which none of the others can. Note that I said “slight incline” not Everest so keep your expectations realistic here, folks! My yard is completely flat so I can’t test this aspect but I’m sure some of you will!

You can see on the image above that the wheels are cast iron – steer clear of cheap plastic wheels.


High speed is 40 feet an hour and will it put down about half an inch of water.

Low speed is 20 feet an hour and will put down about 7/8 of an inch of water.

This means you can adjust it so that it is putting down the right amount of water for your situation. This model can pull up to 300 feet of hose so by varying your hose length and speed you can adapt it for your yard.

Also, by flipping the drive pawls out of engagement you can use it as a stationary sprinkler.

Sprinkler arms are adjustable and cover from 4 to 50 feet. Make sure when you assemble it that the word “top” is facing upward on both arms

Setting up the hose track

To set up the traveling water sprinkler you simply lay the hose in the middle of the area that you want to water. Make sure all your turns are gradual and the tractor unit can negotiate the bends with ease.

laying sprinkler hose

To get the best results you need to use a 5/8 inch garden hose. The half inch size can be used but might be too small to guide the sprinkler round corners with the result that the front wheel of the unit will jump off the hose. Now the whole point of buying this heavier model is to avoid that happening – the lightweight traveling lawn sprinklers are forever coming off the hose-track.

This is one of those things that you want to set up right and then you don’t have to worry about it again so do make sure you use 5/8” hose.

The National Walking Sprinkler has been made in the good ol’ USA since 1938. Plenty of imitators but nothing matches the original traveling lawn sprinkler.

What other folk are saying about this model

These reviews of the National B3 model are taken from happy buyers from Amazon and other online sites.

“performance has been great, even going up and down modest grades”

“Manufactured from meticulously machined components of stainless steel, brass, and aluminium, sturdily fastened to a rugged, cast iron chassis, drivetrain, and wheels, this is a solid, durable, bombproof sprinkler. It’s built like a steam locomotive. Moreover, in the unlikely event that it does need to be repaired, it comes apart (yes, I could not resist taking mine apart) with basic hand tools, and goes back together quickly and easily. ”

“has proven itself capable of pushing small tree branches out of it’s way”

“You don’t want this Gilmour one or the Nelson Rain Train. They are both plagued with the same problems: stripped gears, inability to go up even the slightest hill, an “off” valve that sticks”

“Not a bit of plastic on this thing, no cheap gears to strip when dragging a lot of hose behind it.”

“Very impressed with how strong this sprinkler is, very heavy duty. Should last forever if proper care is taken to lube the moving parts as directed by owners manual.”

“I got tired of buying a new sprinkler every spring, so I decided to invest in a top of the line sprinkler made in the USA, and boy, am I glad I did! This thing is a monster! Seriously, the Nelson traveling sprinkler (which i bought and immediately returned) was a dainty little thing (full of plastic gears, no doubt), but this beast is SOLID METAL! It’ll probably outlive me!”

That last comment is one that resonates with me. This is quality merchandise. You do get the feeling that it will probably outlast you. Maybe I can leave my walking sprinkler to one of the kids in my will!

And for those who, like me, found it all a bit difficult to picture this above ground sprinkler system in action, this video will give you an idea of what it all looks like..

Bermuda Grass – A Southern Favorite

Bermuda grass is a Southern favorite, and one of the most sun loving turf, lawn and pasture grasses available. It’s easy to grow from seed, and provides good coverage as a lawn grass in most of the southern half of the US. It’s an easy-care grass that’s resistant to most pests and needs only a moderate amount of care.


Originally from Africa, Bermuda grass came to the Americas by way of Spanish explorers in the 1500s. First used as just a forage and pasture grass, Bermuda grass has become so popular that it’s now used on golf greens worldwide. It forms a solid, perennial sod, is pest- and drought-resistant, loves full sun, tolerates some salt, and will stand up to close mowing. Although it goes dormant and turns brown as soon as nighttime temperatures drop below 60 degrees, it’s the first grass to turn green when temperatures start to rise.

Growth Habits

Even though it’s easy to grow from seed, that’s not the only way to establish a Bermuda grass lawn. Long before seed was commercially available, Bermuda grass lawns were established from sod or sprigs, and it’s still planted that way sometimes today. It spreads quickly by stolons and rhizomes, so it’s easy to get started no matter how you do it.

Bermuda grass is grown extensively in the South, an area to which it’s well adapted. It’s a perennial grass, so once you have it established it will come back year after year. For this reason many parks and other public facilities use it for putting greens, golf courses, sports fields, and other areas that need good grass coverage and receive full sun.

Although Bermuda grass began its tenure in the US as a southern grass, cold tolerant varieties mean that it now can be planted throughout most of the southern half of the United States. Some of the newer cold tolerant varieties include Yukon Bermuda Grass, Mohawk, and Rivera.

Sowing Bermuda Grass

If you’re going to plant Bermuda grass seed, sow it as a spring crop after the soil temperature has climbed above 65 degrees and you’re sure you won’t have any more frost or freezing temperatures. Generally speaking, this means that daytime temperatures are consistently 80 degrees or above.

One important ingredient in establishing Bermuda grass from seed is sufficient moisture. Cover it with 1/8 to ¼ inch of mulch or soil; if Bermuda grass seed is right on the surface of the soil where it’s exposed to hot sun and dry air, you can’t keep is moist enough to germinate well and develop a good stand no matter what you do. Yes, you can water it, but even so you won’t be able to keep it moist enough for it to germinate evenly or become established well during its first season. That said, however, don’t cover it with more than ¼ inch of soil or it won’t germinate.

You can buy Bermuda Grass from Amazon.

When To Mow

If you’re growing Bermuda grass from seed and it germinates well for you, you may be able to mow it as soon as three weeks after it germinates. The first couple of times you mow it, don’t cut it close, but only take about 1/3 of the height of the blades. A good general rule of thumb is to set the mower height at about 1 inch until your lawn is well established or until the second season.

As fast as Bermuda grass grows, however, if you plant it early in the spring you probably will be mowing it regularly by late summer. It’s just simply one of the best lawn grasses around.