Management patterns on two sprinkler schemes for small-holders are compared. The one overriding difference is in the layout – soils, crops, climate, altitude, plot size, source of water and hardware being similar or identical. Both schemes are used by small-holders to grow vegetables for cash. One layout allows for individual control over both crop choice and water application, and requires one group meeting each month, to set the fee for the payment of the electricity bill for the pump-set. The other layout, copied from Zimbabwe’s large farms, is shown to impose group decision making on the choice of crop and variety, the area to be planted and the planting date, forcing farmers to hold 17 meetings between July 31st and November 23rd. The case study shows the impact of the layout of the hardware on the management process.