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IRRIGATION Should I Sprinkle, Drip or Ooze? Pam Paulsen County Extension Agent, Horticulture K-State Research & Extension – Reno Co. A well planned and maintained watering system will…. Encourage healthy plant growth Deliver the required amount of water with limited waste

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IRRIGATIONShould I Sprinkle, Drip or Ooze?Pam PaulsenCounty Extension Agent, HorticultureK-State Research & Extension – Reno Co.
a well planned and maintained watering system will
A well planned and maintained watering system will…
  • Encourage healthy plant growth
  • Deliver the required amount of water with limited waste
  • Make your gardening life a little easier
choosing your irrigation system
CHOOSING YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM
  • Factors
    • Size of area to water
    • Height and density of plants
    • Slope
    • Soil type
    • Traffic patterns
    • Maintenance requirements
    • Water source, including location & pressure
    • Cost
handwatering
HANDWATERING
  • Water small areas
  • Apply liquid fertilizers
  • Wash plants
  • Remove insects
  • Allows for close inspection of plants
  • Inconsistent coverage
watering cans
WATERING CANS
  • Metal
    • Copper or galvanized steel
  • Plastic
  • 2 gal. capacity
  • Spout should extend 1” above
garden hoses
GARDEN HOSES
  • Hose materials affect:
    • Durability
    • Flexibility
    • Weight
    • Kinks
  • Brass fittings
    • Less potential to leak than plastic fittings
garden hose materials
GARDEN HOSE MATERIALS
  • Unreinforced vinyl
    • Inexpensive & light weight
    • Least durable and most prone to kinking
  • Rubber
    • Most durable, least prone to kinking
    • Heavy and most expensive
  • Reinforced vinyl/rubber
    • Flexible and durable
    • Not as heavy nor expensive as rubber
garden hose sizes
GARDEN HOSE SIZES
  • Inside diameter = ½”, ⅝”, ¾”
    • end fittings are standard sized
  • Length = 25’ – 100’
    • water pressure decreases with hose length
  • ½” Indoor/ Outdoor hoses
garden hose accessories
GARDEN HOSE ACCESSORIES
  • Kink protectors
  • Storage devices
    • Hose pots, hangers, reels, carts
  • Hose guides
hose attachments
HOSE ATTACHMENTS
  • Hose end nozzles
  • Quick couplers
  • Deep root irrigators
hose maintenance
HOSE MAINTENANCE
  • Use good washers to prevent leaks
  • Use filters if water contains sediments
  • Keep out of direct sun
  • Store hoses when not in use
  • Leave shut off valve open when not in use
  • Drain and store indoors in winter
  • Use hose menders to repair damage
portable sprinklers
PORTABLE SPRINKLERS
  • Sprinkler buying tips:
    • Make sure coverage and pattern match area to be watered
    • If watering around tall plants or objects, get a sprinkler designed to sit on a tripod or stand
    • Metal or high impact plastic sprinklers are more durable than lightweight plastic or aluminum
    • Choose sprinklers with nozzles or emitters over punched holes
oscillating sprinklers
OSCILLATING SPRINKLERS
  • Good for open areas with no overhanging branches
  • Can cover large areas (up to 60’x60’)
  • More water is lost to evaporation and wind
  • Better quality ones have a reversing spray bar to decrease overwatering at far points
rotating sprinklers
ROTATING SPRINKLERS
  • Water sprayed from holes in spinning arms
  • Square, circular or rectangular patterns
  • Coverage is not uniform
stationary sprinklers
STATIONARY SPRINKLERS
  • Water shoots through pattern of holes in top of sprinkler
  • Some have adjustable patterns
  • Coverage is not uniform
impulse sprinklers
IMPULSE SPRINKLERS
  • Circular pattern up to 100’ diameter
  • Adjustable pattern and distance
  • Most uniform
  • Most efficient
travelling sprinklers
TRAVELLING SPRINKLERS
  • Rotating arms with spray up to 50’
  • Travels along hose up to 250’
  • Fairly uniform coverage
permanent sprinklers
PERMANENT SPRINKLERS
  • Usually part of automatic watering systems
  • Risers
    • Permanently above ground
    • Easy to make taller or shorter
    • Good for areas of low traffic
    • Can be unsightly
  • Pop-ups
    • Housed underground
    • Raises up when water is on
    • Good for areas of higher traffic
    • Preserves aesthetics of the area
permanent sprinklers1
PERMANENT SPRINKLERS
  • Spray heads emit a fixed spray
    • Good for smaller areas – 15’ radius
    • Work best at 30psi
  • Rotary heads (rotors) – rotate around sprinkler head
    • 45’ radius
    • Require 40 – 50 psi
    • Impact rotors
      • Less costly
      • Noisy
    • Gear driven rotors
      • More expensive
      • Quieter
spray head nozzles
SPRAY HEAD NOZZLES
  • Usually sold separately
  • Determines pattern
    • quarter to full circle
    • square or rectangle
    • High or low angle
  • Determines radius and volume of spray
  • Rotor heads have adjustable arcs and sizes
sprinkler layout
SPRINKLER LAYOUT
  • Use as few sprinklers as possible
  • Always overlap sprays
    • Head to head coverage provides uniformity
  • Limit corners
soaker hoses
SOAKER HOSES
  • Good for areas where soil needs complete soaking
    • Flower and vegetable beds
    • Shrub rows
    • Root zone of a tree
  • Decreases weed growth
  • Not good for widely spaced plantings
  • Output depends on available water pressure
sprinkler hoses
SPRINKLER HOSES
  • Flat tubing with holes on one side
  • Sprays when holes are up
    • Good for lawns and open areas
  • Soaks when holes are faced down
    • Good for garden beds
ooze tubing
OOZE TUBING
  • Spongy rubber tubing with tiny pores
  • Inexpensive
  • Can be attached directly to water faucet
  • Provides uniform water distribution on level terrain for up to 50’
using soaker hoses
USING SOAKER HOSES
  • Can be hidden under mulch &/or used with plastic mulches
  • Use a filter to limit clogging
  • Flush hose regularly by removing end cap
  • Use garden hose or pvc pipe over areas that don’t need watering
  • Store indoors during winter
drip irrigation
DRIP IRRIGATION
  • Also known as MICROIRRIGATION
  • Operates at low pressure (15-30psi or lower)
  • Adaptable to wide variety of gardens
    • Small, narrow gardens to acres of commercial gardens
    • Container gardens
    • Hanging baskets
    • Lawns
drip irrigation1
DRIP IRRIGATION
  • Advantages
    • Wide variety of uses
    • Efficient use of water
    • Less weed growth
    • Can be automated
  • Disadvantages
    • Higher costs
    • Higher maintenance
    • More difficult installation
drip irrigation components
DRIP IRRIGATION COMPONENTS
  • Control valves
  • Backflow preventers
  • Pressure regulators
  • Filters
  • Tubing
  • Fittings
  • Emitters
backflow preventers
BACKFLOW PREVENTERS
  • Prevents irrigation water from flowing back into water supply
  • Antisiphon valve (vacuum breaker)
    • Creates an air space at high point in irrigation system
    • Attach to hose bib
    • Most automatic control valves are coupled with a backflow preventer
filters
FILTERS
  • Used to prevent the small openings in the emitters from clogging
  • Screen filters of 120 to 200 mesh
  • In-line filters
    • Least expensive
    • Need to take apart water line to clean
  • Y & T filters
    • Easy removal for cleaning
    • Some come with flush valves
pressure regulators
PRESSURE REGULATORS
  • Used to prevent fittings from blowing apart and allows watering devices to work properly
  • Most are plastic and preset to maintain 15, 20, 25 or 30 psi.
  • Also available are brass systems that are adjustable
  • Can connect to piping or hose bib
tubing
TUBING
  • Use PVC to connect water source to control valve and anywhere pressure is above 30 psi
  • Drip tubing
    • Polyethylene
    • UV resistance with 15-25 year life span
    • Flexible and easy to cut
    • Can be covered with mulch or buried a few inches underground
    • Usually in ½” diameter, though it can vary by manufacturer
    • Sold in rolls of 50 to 500’
microtubing
MICROTUBING
  • Spaghetti tubing
  • 1/4” or 1/8” available
  • Use polyethylene or heavyweight vinyl (lighter vinyl tends to fall out of its fittings)
  • Used in container plantings
  • Used to place emitters at individual plants
fittings
FITTINGS
  • Couplings – to join two sections of tubing
  • Tees – to branch off in different directions
  • Elbows – to create corners
  • Adapters – to connect parts with pipe threads to parts with hose threads or connect tubing with PVC pipe, etc.
  • Drip fittings
    • Compression
    • Locking
    • Barbed
barbed fittings
BARBED FITTINGS
  • Used to connect emitters and microtubing to drip tubing
  • Force fitting into tubing
emitters
EMITTERS
  • Emitter line
  • Drip tape
drip emitters
DRIP EMITTERS
  • Offer precise water placement
  • Volume of ½ to 2 gph
  • Higher volume bubblers spread water better in sandy soils
  • Can choose spacing as needed (No more than 100 emitters per 100’ of drip hose)
  • Multi emitters
microsprays
MICROSPRAYS
  • Look like miniature sprinklers
  • Less precise than drip emitters
  • Apply more water than drip
  • Use in closely spaced plantings i.e. ground covers and flower beds
  • Good for watering tree and shrub root zones
  • Need to overlap sprays for uniform coverage
  • Spray is subject to wind and evaporation
  • May need to adjust as plants grow
minisprays
MINISPRAYS
  • Varying spray patterns
    • Quarter, half and full circle
    • Bow tie shape
  • 6–30 gph
  • 4-10’ radius
  • Good for tight or irregular spaces
drip kits
DRIP KITS
  • Convenient for small areas
  • Kits for specific garden types and connection sources
  • Can be constraining
drip maintenance
DRIP MAINTENANCE
  • At beginning of season, flush lines and check emitters for blockage
  • Clean filters regularly
  • While system is running, regularly check for clogged emitters
  • Check for leaks in lines
  • Adjust system as plants grow
winterizing your system
WINTERIZING YOUR SYSTEM
  • Remove end caps and drain lines
  • Turn off water supply
  • Disconnect from water line from hose bibs
  • Unscrew filters and drain
  • Store drip lines indoors if possible
  • If leaving lines outdoors, make sure they are well drained then cover with a heavy layer of mulch
using water wisely
USING WATER WISELY
  • Water efficiently
  • Plant in zones
  • Mulch
  • Plant water efficient plants
  • Improve soil conditions
  • Remove weeds
  • Utilize windbreaks
  • Apply water only to plant’s root zone
efficient watering
EFFICIENT WATERING
  • Use soil probe to determine depth
  • Water to root depth (6”-8”)
  • 1” to 1½” per week - more in sand and heat
  • Measure output of sprinklers
  • Water in early morning
  • Limit runoff by pulse watering
  • Water according to plant’s needs, not a schedule