IRRIGATION Part 2

WHEN TO WATER

The best time to water is between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. There are many reasons why the experts say to water in the morning, but all the reasons originate from two place…bugs and disease. It seems logical to water at night to prevent water loss through evaporation, but a damp, dark landscape is a welcome wagon for bugs and disease. It is much less expensive to lose a little water through evaporation than it is to combat these pests with fungicides and pesticides.

Of course, if you live in an area where there are restrictions on water use, water when you can. A little water at the wrong time is better than none at all.

A QUICK INTRODUCTION TO DRIP IRRIGATION

Drip or trickle irrigation was conceived almost fifty years ago by an engineer in Israel, Symagha Blass. His observations of a tree near a leaky faucet having more growth than other trees nearby led him to patenting a low pressure water delivery system that applied water ‘drop by drop.’

It has been the agriculture sector of the irrigation industry that has benefitted the most from his discovery. Drip irrigation systems in agriculture provide many benefits to the farmer: Low pressure operation, fertilizer application directly to the root zone, weed control, because of reduced wetting areas, reduced run-off, and, most importantly, drip irrigation provides greater yields over more conventional irrigation techniques.

As in agriculture, drip irrigation of landscape projects provides reduced run-off, weed control, and accelerated plant growth. In addition, drip systems in landscaping allow for irrigating any time of day. Because drip emitters do not spray water, there is little evaporation, and no spray means no foliage or buildings getting wet.

One of the best reasons for using drip irrigation is the reduction of controller stations and valves. Because drip emitters flow so little water when compared to the conventional spray heads, you can irrigate more plants or plant area with the same amount of water. You should remember, however, that you will need more time to irrigate those plants since the application rate is so much slower.

TROUBLE SHOOTING

Because your irrigation system is outdoors and is exposed to the elements, and is made up of components which are sometimes damaged by lawn mowers, cars, etc., there may come a time when you will need to know what to do in the event of damage.

First, always be on the lookout for malfunctioning sprinkler heads and soggy areas that may indicate an underground water leak. If your irrigation system is in some way damaged, there are several different things you can do.

1. If the damage is one particular sprinkler head, you can simply turn off the section on the controller which the damaged head is located in. By turning off this one section, the remainder of your landscape is irrigated without interruption.

2. If, for some reason, #1 is not effective, unplug the controller from the source of electricity. This will turn off your entire irrigation system, so none of the sections will receive water.

3. If this is still ineffective, there is probably a break in the main water line that supplies the system. To stop the leak and to stop the supply of water to the entire system, turn off the main water valve that is located near your water meter.

If you need further assistance, please feel free to call.

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