Home Irrigation

February 18, 2021

Video Transcript

- [Christopher] Okay, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the Michigan AG Ideas to Grow With virtual conference. It's our first ever virtual format for this conference. I've mentioned before but if you're just coming in, please note this session will be recorded. Should you choose to leave your video on be aware that it may appear in the recording. Recordings for all sessions will be posted in a few weeks after the conference. And we ask that you please remain muted throughout the presentation. I'll be moderating, I'll be in the chat. I'll be able to assist you with technical problems, and to help you bring up your questions. My name is Christopher Imler. I am a consumer horticulture educator for Southwest Michigan. I'm based in Kalamazoo, and I also do a lot of veteran horticulture education. It's my pleasure to welcome you to this session, to welcome to you the session. This is Ron Goldy's educational webinar on home irrigation. Ron is a vegetable crop educator for MSU Extension. And after we get through just a couple of these introductory slides, we will hear what he has to say. This session is qualified for RUP credits. If you're interested in receiving credits, please make sure that you are either using your full name in Zoom right now. Or you can message me privately with your full name and email. That way we can make sure that you get the appropriate information to get the RUP credits. Please note to receive these credits, you also have to be on for the entire session. Because at the conclusion of this session I'll be sharing additional instructions, including an evaluation to receive your credits. Before we get started. I just want to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors who are shown on this screen. Due to their generous support we're able to offer this event at no charge to participants. We're also able to offer a scholarship opportunity for youth learners. So please check out this website for more information. If you need that link in the chat, I'll be posting it again later. And the last thing, we have a short video that we'd like to share with you that was prepared by the Michigan AG Ideas to Grow With team regarding food safety, which is especially relevant at the moment. So let's take a look. - [Narrator] Hey, we're on a produce safety road trip. Do you want to join us? - [Narrator] Sure. - [Narrator] Sweet, hop in. - [Narrator] Ooh, produce safety education. That looks fun. If you are new to farming, or have never attended a farm food safety training, a good first step is to take some time to learn about produce safety, good agricultural practices, and the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. The MSU extension AgriFood Safety Website has videos, and other training materials to get you started. - [Narrator] Hey, did that say risk assessment? Now that sounds exciting. Want to stop? - [Narrator] Sure, but you don't have to be a thrill seeker to make this next stop. Now that you have a in farm produce safety concepts, the next step is to apply them to your farm. The Michigan Produce Safety Risk Assessment is a free and confidential program delivered by trained produce safety technicians around the state. Once you have identified your farm's food safety risks, the next step is to write policies and procedures for how you will address these risks. It's a good idea to have a written food safety plan. Don't worry, there are templates and resources available to guide you on the MSU extension AgriFood Safety Website. - [Narrator] Wow. Look at all the cars at that place. That definitely looks like a party. Let's stop in to see what everyone is up to. - [Narrator] The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule includes a set of regulations that apply to fresh produce growers. If you are covered under the rule, at least one individual from your farm must complete a FISMA produce safety rule grower training course, such as those offered for free by Michigan State university Extension, and the Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team. - [Narrator] Hey, do you recognize that car pulling in the driveway? They look friendly. Oh, that's your friends from the Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team. I bet they're here to help you with your On-Farm Readiness Review. - [Narrator] On-Farm Readiness Reviews, or OFRRs, are low pressure. They are free, voluntary and confidential. And they're designed to help fresh produce growers feel prepared and ready for meeting the FISMA produce safety rule requirements. A small team of local produce safety technicians, and MSU Extension educators will help you bring your produce safety plans to life. And assess any produce safety risks that might exist by walking around your farm, and discussing your current practices and plans. Some buyers may require you to obtain a third-party food safety certification. If your buyer requires USDA GAP certification, the Michigan group GAP network is an option to achieve USDA gap certification, in a supportive, educational environment. To learn more, you can go to migroupgap.com. - [Narrator] What a day. It's good to be home, but that was an awesome trip. Thanks so much for coming along. - Okay, I hope that was at least a little bit of an interesting insight into all of the work that goes into making sure that we end up with healthy, safe produce for our consumers. All right, now then. Let's go ahead and jump into today's presentation. If you have any questions during the presentation please type them into the chat. I'll try to bring them up to Ron at an appropriate moment. If not, we'll have time at the very end of today's presentation to address your unanswered questions. And Ron, I'm gonna go ahead and hand the reins over to you. - Okay. Thank you, Chris. And like Chris said, if you have any questions I'd like to deal with them as they come up, not necessarily all of them at the end. I'll take questions at the end, but sometimes you may have questions about a single slide that I'm working with. So if that's the case, then go ahead and ask the question right then. The other thing I want, I was watching the food safety video something that I think of is that you only saw one leg really of a three-legged stool. The producer grower is just one leg. The second leg is the, oh, the broker supermarket chain part of it. And then actually you are the third leg. You know, the consumer is the third leg. Because once it comes home to the consumer, you also play an important part in food safety, as far as no cross contamination, proper storage, that kind of thing. And probably in this case, many of you are at the consumer end, not so much at the producer end. So just always keep that in mind. A little bit about my background is that much of my activities are involved with commercial vegetable production. I am stationed at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, where I do really, work on field-oriented research on vegetable crops, as well as the standard extension. You know, answering questions, problems, putting on meetings, giving presentations like this, that kind of thing. So many of you have probably heard me before. And one of the things that I also work with is irrigation. And in this case I'm going to be working with more homeowner irrigation, trying to bring you up to speed. Maybe teach you some new things, make you look at things differently than what you already are. And help you maybe modernize some of your irrigation techniques. So with that in mind, I'm going to share my screen. Okay, we good, Chris? - [Chris] Looks good, Ron. - [Ron] Okay, thank you. All right, home irrigation. This is what I'm going to try to talk you out of, even though this is something that probably a lot of you do. I'm trying to get you away from these, this kind of sprinkler, as well as this kind of sprinkler for a number of reasons. One of the big reasons is that it's uneven. And you're standing there operating your garden hose, and you think you're putting enough water on, but so often if you just take your finger and dig through the soil, you may have gotten down the first inch. It actually takes a lot more water than what you think it does to get something down to the really the 14 inch area is what you're going for a lot of fruit and vegetable, and landscape plants. Standing there for 10 minutes watering something is really not the best thing to do, unless it's something it's just recently been planted and the seeds are shallow, and the plants really haven't developed that much. It's uneven, and the other thing it does is encourages disease. You're getting the leaves wet when you do that, and diseases just love free water. Okay. They need a certain number of hours of free water. What I mean is water on leaves to be able to germinate those spores. I see a lot of people irrigating their lawns, and other things, 7:00 at night. And that is the absolute worst time that you can irrigate. Because what happens is that you're going to keep all those plants wet until probably 9:00, 10:00 the next morning, maybe even longer. Depending what the humidity is. And you don't want to do that, because that all it does is invite disease problems. So try not to do that. The other thing is is inefficient placement. If you're just broadcasting water out there, especially on your garden, or on your landscape plants, now, if you're doing it on your lawn that's okay, because your lawn is a solid mat. That's not a problem. Or if you have a ground cover, that's a solid mat. That's not an issue. But if you're in a garden situation, or a landscape where you're watering landscape plants, shrubs, bushes, perhaps, flower plantings, that kind of thing, you don't want to put it everywhere, because you're wasting that water. Another thing I want to talk you out of are these things. They're great ideas. But part of the problem is that they're not efficient from beginning to end. What I mean by that is that the water at the beginning is not the same as the water at the end. And so the plants that are at the beginning of the hose are probably getting too much water, those in the middle are getting just enough, and those at the end, they're probably not getting enough. Like I said, it's a good idea, but it has its limitations. So I really don't want to encourage you to use one of these as well. What I want you to do, well, hopefully at the end of this I can talk you into it, is doing what a lot of our commercial growers are doing already. And that is... Let me get my pointer out here. I'm gonna need it eventually anyway. This up in the upper left-hand corner of what we see is a potato field with drip irrigation installed in it. I'd rather see this buried rather than laying on top of the ground, but I'll talk about that later. Here we have a grape vineyard with the irrigation up on a wire, on one of the bottom wires. I'll talk about why that's a good idea, later on. And here we are in a nursery area with the pots, and they have their irrigation going right to each pot. And then here's a home landscape situation where the individual here has their drip tape, or drip tube in this case, spread out across their landscape. And then probably what they'll do is, whoops. (mouse clicks) They'll come back and cover this with mulch. One of the things you can see here is where the emitters are, and we'll talk more about that later. In this kind of situation, you're really watering nothing right here. So I wouldn't necessarily put emitters, or this kind of emitting system in this landscape. I would do something different. And we'll talk about that as we go through. I'm gonna bring your attention to this publication. And again, it says, you know this does not constitute an endorsement. I'm not necessarily endorsing a Toro irrigation. I just want to bring this to your attention because it is a good site for information. It's actually more for commercial producers, but anybody can get information out of it especially when it comes to maintenance of these systems. So I want to bring your attention to that. It's available on the internet as a PDF. You can download it if you choose to, or just look at those sections that you want to look at at your leisure. Okay. Another one I want to bring to your attention is this Trickl-Eez company. And again, I'm not endorsing them at all. It's just, if you go on their website you can see all the kinds of things that are available for direct drip or trickle irrigation. And it's just a good reference. You probably are going to go in different places, but it's nice just to look at, see what actually is out there for you to use. Okay. Drip advantages. This is the system I'm trying to get you to work towards rather than the overhead system. So more efficient placement of water. You're putting it right where you want the water to go. And as a result of that you're going to save money and water. And if you're on a municipal system, you're saving both by not using more water than what you need to, even if you're on a pump, you're still saving either electricity or fuel, or some sort that you're not putting water everywhere where it's not needed. And also you can modify it so that you can very efficiently deliver fertilizer, right where you want it. Again, it's not being broadcast everywhere. It's being placed right where you want it, right where the plants will want it, right where the roots are. So you're gonna get maximum efficiency out of your water, as well as maximum efficiency out of your fertilizers. And then there's the convenience aspect to it. And we'll talk about that when we get to it. You don't have to stand there and hold that hose. Some people may like to do that and they find it relaxing. But most people would like to just turn the water on, and walk away from it and come back doing other things in the meantime, and come back and turn it off. Any questions before I go on any further here? Stop here and see if there's anything. - [Participant] Yeah, can you go back to that Toro website again? You moved past it faster than I could write it down. - [Ron] Just Google Toro irrigation manual, Toro micro irrigation manual. Just Google this right here, and it'll pop up. - [Participant] Toro micro irrigation manual. Okay. Thanks. - [Ron] Okay. All right, anything else from anybody? - [Chris] Yeah, we had a question, let me pull it up real quick, from Isaac. Isaac says, "Speaking of maintenance, when is it, speaking of maintenance, when's is it appropriate for," oh, he's curious about winterizing a drip system. Do you do a blow out at a lower PSI, or is there something else that Isaac should be doing to winterize his drip system? - [Ron] No, you're gonna have to do a blowout of some sort, it depends on your system. If we're talking about irrigating lawns, which is a permanent system, then yes, you're going to have to do a blow out of that system. In a landscape system, if it's permanent, you're gonna have to blow it out. For a garden system, probably what you're going to have is a drip tape system. And what you're gonna do as the end of the season is pull up that drip tape. So you don't have to maintain that, or winterize that drip tape. It all depends on what kind of header line you have fed out to your garden, as to whether or not you're gonna have to winterize that. Anything that's gonna have to stay there during the winter will have to be blown out, or else you're gonna freeze it and crack it. Good question. - [Chris] Okay, and then we had another one kind of along the same lines, from Melanie. So if you're snaking it under the, if you're snaking it under the mulch. So if it's, you know, still subject to frost. Oh yeah, just it's about the same question. Unless Melanie, did you have anything else that you wanted to add to that question that we didn't cover? - [Ron] Yeah, and anything that is below the frost zone here at Michigan, in this part in Michigan, is you have to bury it like four feet down. So anything that's not buried that deeply is going to have to be winterized. You're gonna have to blow the water out of it with a compressor and air. - [Chris] Okay, great. - [Ron] All right, anything else, Chris? - [Chris] That looks good for now. - [Ron] Okay, all right, we'll stop every now and then, and take questions. All right, one of the things that you may have to deal with is this issue of water quality and purity. It all depends on where you're gonna get your water from. You know, if you're getting your water from a river here, this is an aerial shot at the St. Joe river. You see these dark tannins primarily here. But there's gonna be a lot of particulates in a surface source, whether it's river water or pond water. And if you're gonna send it through any kind of drip system, it's going to have to be filtered. And we'll talk about that, as we talk about the design of the system. If you have irrigation, like the lower right shows here, an irrigation pump with a well, well is by far your cleanest water. But you're still not clean enough for a drip system, because some of these openings are very small. And the water in your house actually is, probably has too much particulates in it to be able to run it through a drip system, 'cause it could plug up the emitters. The one that you're probably gonna deal the most with is this one on the bottom left. And that is some kind of mineral contaminant, whether it be calcium, or iron in this case. And you're going to have to deal with that somehow. Calcium, it'll eventually plug up your system. And you're gonna have to maintain it, especially if it's a permanent or semi-permanent system. You may have to flush it every now and then with a weak acid, to be able to dissolve the calcium, or to flush the iron through it. So the red is the iron here, and some of you may be in an iron area where your water has a lot of iron in it. If you have the iron stains in your toilets that tells you that you have some iron in it. Ideally you want below one part per million iron. If it's 3.5 or above parts per million you're probably gonna have to do something about it. What a lot of commercial growers do is that if you pump it out of the ground and put it into a pond, eventually the iron will settle out. And then you can just pump the water out of the pond. But then that creates other issues if you have more particulates that you may be sucking up, more LG, more, you know, fish, frogs, or whatever that you have to make sure that you don't suck up with the system. Another other thing that you have to resign yourself to is that you will be a plumber, if you start doing these things. So you got to make sure that you pull your pants up. You don't want to show anything that your neighbors don't want to see. And then your neighbors might call you Mario or Luigi, because you're gonna do a lot of plumb fitting here. Okay, this is your typical system layout. This is a big system. But I show you this just to let you see that from a commercial standpoint it is no different, the actual pieces are no different, than what you're going to have in your home situation. They're just on a smaller scale. This yellow-dotted line across the middle here divides the basic drip irrigation system from the different delivery methods. Each of these are here at different methods of delivery, and they all go back to the same type of system. You have your water source, whether it's a surface source or a pump. You'll have an injection area, if you're going to inject any fertilizer, or other things through the system. You will then have a filter. Notice that the filters are after the injection mechanism, because you may, if you're injecting fertilizer it may not be completely dissolved, you may have some particulates in there. And so you want the filters to filter it out before it getting out to your system. You don't want to put the injection system here. The other thing that they don't show here is a backflow prevention. And that's this right here. I'll show that in some of the other slides that I have. These filters here are larger filters in a commercial setting. They'll always be two of them, because there'll be in pairs, two, four, six. Because what's happening is that when one is filtering the other is back flushing to clean it out. And these are large sand filters here. You're not gonna have to worry about that, because you're not gonna be that size of a system. Then you have a main line that goes out. You may have different control valves, pressure gauges on there to make sure your pressure is good. And then once you get out to the actual crop that you're gonna grow you may have a drip line. You may have a hose with emitters in it. You may have different kinds of hoses here. You may have subsurface, a drip system that can do that. Most of you are probably gonna go with the drip line, or the hose emitters. Even if you go with a sub surface, you're not irrigating from down below. In your lawn situation, you've your sprinklers that pop up, and irrigate actually above, rather than irrigating from below. This is where it's actually irrigating below the crop. And the roots grow into the wet zone. Little problem with this in sandy soil, because if you have a dry spring and you plant, and you don't get rain, in sandy soil you don't get enough capillary action to move the water up to be in contact with the seeds. So that's a little bit of difficulty that some producers have, if they have a dry spring. Okay, this is a more of a schematic of the system, and the basic components here. You have a pre-filter, but that is if you have a irrigation line stuck into a pond, you want to have a filter there to filter out sticks, and weeds, and fish, and other things that might be sucked up. Then there's your pump, pressure relief valve, that's not something you're gonna have. Here's your backflow prevention, here's your injection, after your backflow prevention. You don't want to have your injection here, because the backflow prevention stops it from getting back, and contaminating your house water, probably in your case. So you want to have the back, the injection after the backflow prevention. Then your filters, pressure control. Now, that can be a number of places. That can be here, or it can be here, it doesn't necessarily have to be right in here. But it has to be there because the pressure from your lines in your house are actually too, is actually too high for some systems. And we'll talk about that. Air vent drain, you know, this is what we talked about in terms of having something to winterize it. And then your actual crop out here in your zones. Now, this is something that's more likely that you're going to have. Where you have your water source, whether it's a faucet off your house, or you've plumbed out to your garden or whatever. Here's your backflow preventer, pressure regulator, filter, your adapter from your pressure regulator to your tubing, and then your drip tubing. You may have a header line going out, it's doing nothing but carrying the water out to your system. Your garden might be 75 feet away from your house, and all this line is doing is carrying water. Okay, we're getting bleeding from somebody not muting themselves, Chris, can you say that? - I've got it, yep. - [Ron] Okay, before I go on any farther, any questions about this system? - [Chris] So there was one question here, from R. Petino. "What about filtering atrazine, and others out of the water that might lead into drinking water pond, water, impacting frogs? Is that a major concern that we should be worried about?" - [Ron] Well, filters only take out particulates. They're not gonna take out anything that's dissolved. Now, if atrazine is in your water, it's probably not at the level that is going to be a concern. But it's going to be dissolved in your water, and your filter is not gonna take that out. - [Chris] Yeah, and my guess is that you would have to do something like reverse osmosis to get that out. It's not an organic molecule, it's a very, very small compound. - [Ron] Yes. And so that's gonna take a different system than what we're talking about here. Probably gonna cost you a lot of money to have that kind of system installed to take that out. But it might- - Yes. Reverse osmosis filters also probably use up a lot of energy, as well. - [Ron] But even if you have an atrazine problem it's probably not at the level that it's gonna cause issues in your garden situation. Okay, anything else? Any other questions? - [Chris] Let's take a look. No, that seems like it. - [Ron] Okay. All right. All right, here's the system here, again. Here's your water source up here at that top. Can you see my laser pointer, Chris? Is that obvious? - [Chris] I can see that, yeah. - [Ron] Okay, all right, let's just walk through the system here again. Here's your battery operated timer. If you want to put that in, we'll talk about that later. Here's your screen filter it with your backflow preventer. Sometimes they're together, but more often than not, they are separate. Here's your pressure regulator. This one says that it regulates it to 25 to 30 PSI. That's pretty high for some systems. You're gonna have to look at the system, delivery system. A lot of drip tapes, if you're growing with drip tape in a garden, they operate around 12 PSI. So you can get varying PSI pressure regulators. And so you're just going to have to get the one that is designed for the pressure that you're wanting. Okay, this is the hose adapter here. It goes from the faucet threads out to the actual main line, in this case. And then you're gonna have various elbows of one kind or another. You have this pre-installed emitter, if you go with that type of drip tubing. A hole punch to punch holes for the buttons, if you go with a button system. If you make a mistake, they make these little goof plugs, they're called, there's actually over here. So if you make a mistake, there's actually two sizes. One is a smaller size, and the other side's a bigger size, depending on the hole that you make, so you can plug it back up. The other thing that you can do is if you, in some landscape situations, you may actually want to move the emitters as plants get bigger, you want to get more emitters. Or even move the emitters further away from the plant out into where the root zone is. So what you can do is plug up one hole, and make a new hole as you move those emitters. Then these micro tubes, you may install those, especially if you're using a system where you put the, at the end of the micro tube, you actually put a two, or three or four splitter. Ad I'll show you pictures of those later on. You can get these tubing stakes and these spinners that put out more water. And that's why you would have to have more pressure over here, the 25 to 30, because these put out a lot more water than what a standard drip system would have. This is what your lawn sprinklers are kind of on this vein, is where you pop up that head, and then it sprinkles out that way. So I talked about, oh, and the T down here, so that you can off your main line, you can put off some sublines. Then you're always gonna have this universal couplet, that you're going to fix any leaks, cut it, fix the leak, and guaranteed you'll have some, for one reason or another. And then you're gonna have various assortments of emitters here. These are these little button emitters, colors mean things. However, the color is not standard between companies. And so the red emitter for one company means a certain amount of gallons per hour. But a red emitter from another company could mean something completely different, gallons per hour. But they come and red, black, green, yellow. And then, like I said, they have varied gallons per minute. And what you can do is a couple these, say if this is a two gallon, if this is a two gallon per hour emitter, if you put one of these four way splitters on top of it. Then each one is going to put out 1/2 a gallon per hour that you put into different nursery plants. And maybe pots on your patio, or something like that. And then another elbow. And then here's how you're going to clamp it off with a hose clamp. And I'll show you more of these as we go through here. All right, having trouble advancing my slide. There we go. Okay, here's a different kind of hole punch. You'll have to have some kind of sheers to cut the drip tape. This is the clamp at the end. This is a valve. You can get various kinds of valves to put into it. I'll show you that a little little bit later on. Here's your goof plug down here, lower left, fixing a hole that you either made a mistake, or you want to change that. You don't want an emitter there anymore. And here's a coupler. Most of these couplers, and all of these Ts and elbows, these shown here just are pressure fittings. You push them in and the pressure's not great enough that they push out. However, most of them, in my experience, is that they have these twist on adaptors, where there's a threaded coupling here. You put your drip tape into it, and then you twist it on. And these two ends twist in opposite directions, so you can twist them on at the same time. Here's the filters. This is a larger sand filter, oh excuse me, a disk filter here on the left. Again, colors mean things. And so the yellow is a different pore size, than what the orange, black and gray green are. You're gonna go with just one of these smaller systems here, a screen filter. And there are ways that they come apart, so you can take them out, and clean them out, because they will get sand in there. And you want to clean them out every now and then, especially if you have an iron problem, or a calcium problem. You may have to soak this in vinegar to get the calcium deposits off of it, or another mild acid like citric acid. Or maybe even a mild hydrochloric, or sulfuric acid solution to clean them up. Then you're gonna have a main line of some sort, this is a commercial size main line, so they get pretty large. This one's buried. This is a permanent one here where you have a main line and some of your sub lines coming off. Here's a, one of these hoses put out as a main line at the head of the planting and then all the drip lines attached to the main line. And then here's different attachments that you can get again, to a main line. These are drilled in just like the goof plugs where you drill it in, or put it in with a tool that I showed you. And then they just pop in, and these are pressure fitted. They seat themselves when you pressure the line. And then you have various kinds of attachments, there's a valve system right here. And here's the valves right here. Main line right here, and each of these is a line going out to, in this case, probably a garden setting, where you can turn these on and off, as you need to. You may want to only irrigate this line 'cause it's a different kind of plant. You could have cucumbers on this line, and beans on this line, and your cucumbers need a lot more water than the beans do. And so every other time that you irrigate, you close off your bean line, and just leave your cucumbers on. The other thing you can do is when you're designing your manifold right at the beginning of the system, is to have two or three or four outlets on your manifold. Your faucet feeds them all, but then you can have three or four coming off of that faucet and each of them on their own timer. So that you can adjust things as you need them, according to the needs of your plants. Your mature corn crop is gonna need a lot more water than what your peppers are gonna need. And here's some of the twist fittings, the Ts, elbows, and the couplers. And here's the system that goes into the main line. You drill a hole, pop that in, drill a hole, pop that in. And then you can put in a valve, and then put your other drip line, or your other emitters line out here. But all of these are the twist type where you put your tubing or your drip tape into it, and then it twists on to hold it on. And here's the various button emitters that are great for landscape plants or shrubs. Here's a half gallon, one gallon, two gallon. Here's a solid hose where you can just lay this hose out, and then pop these buttons into wherever you need them. Here's, down in the lower left, is an inline emitter. And these come anywhere from a foot apart to three feet apart. Problem with these is you have to go with what the manufacturer gives you. This type up here on the top, you can set the distance, however you want. And that's a nice thing for landscape plantings. The bottom left is more for perennial crops, grapes, trees, that kind of thing, where the roots will eventually grow into the water. And then here we have drip tape showing the emitter right here. All these bumps here are part of the emitter system to be able to administer the amount of water that the system is designed to put out. And again, here's an inline emitter. Here's different emitters showing that the flow rate is different based on color. And here's the different splitters that you can get the button. And you can actually put this splitter on top of that button, or you can put the other devices in, and then put the splitter on that. And that's what you can do here, is make a run to different pots, different plants, if you have these spikes. The thing you have to be careful of with these spikes is if you put them in a pot is that the roots can grow up inside these spikes. And so you want to make sure that you have these spikes about an inch or so above the potting soil, so that the roots can't grow into it and plug it up. I've actually had experience with them doing that. And here's your various misters, where you can get you 180, or a 360, or a 90. These are gonna take a bit more water. Here's one that's actually a spinner on the upper right, is that it'll go on a circle, if you have a situation for that. Here's these low-flow spinners. Again, what you're seeing here though is that you're getting these leaves wet, where I'd rather put the spike into that pot, and let the spike do the watering, and not get the leaves wet. Here's a drip tape that you're going to use. This drip tape varies in size, depending on how far the distance is. You know, this 5/8 inch is good for 600 feet, 95% efficient at 600 feet. What that means is that the emitters at the end of 600 feet are putting out 95% of the same amount of water as the emitters as the beginning. And it's far more efficient than that soaker hose that I showed you at the beginning. And it comes in different wall thicknesses. Lots of times that depends on how often you want to use it. Your commercial growers use it one year, and then they recycle it, or do something else with it. But you, you can use it for many years. And so you might want to invest into the thicker wall material 'cause it will last longer. 'Cause you can just roll it up and use it year after year. This is an example of what the emitter spacing looks like. Here's 12 inch emitter spacing versus eight inch. And you can see that you're getting a much more solid, uniform band of water with the eight inch than with the 12. However, if you have a crop like tomatoes, or peppers, or eggplant, or something with a big root system that really doesn't matter, because those roots will find that water. However, if your lettuce, onions, radishes, something like that, that doesn't have a very good root system, or strong root system, you probably want to go with something that's closer together. You can get them anywhere from four to 24 inch spacings, and from 0.1 to 0.5 gallons per minute, per a hundred feet. Again, the lower right picture shows you a system where the emitters are closer together compared to far apart. This would be great for onions, lettuce, something was a more limited root system. The one on the left would be better for larger plants. This shows you the soil profile of 0.5 gallon per hour, one gallon per hour, two gallon per hour. And you'll see in sand, it doesn't spread out very far, compared to a loamy soil or clay store. And so the theory behind sandy sites is to put water out more quickly, so that you develop a larger area width-wise, in a clay soil, you want to put out water more slowly, so that it has time to penetrate rather than run off the surface. And so you design your delivery system based on your main soil type. And here's the fertilization injector. This is what's called a mozzie injector. And what you'll notice here is if you look at it up here, you'll see the constriction right here. And what happens is that the water going through this system, the volume of the water is the same, even in the constriction. And so what that means is the water has to speed up. When water speeds up it creates a vacuum. And so you put this end into your bucket of fertilizer, and then when you open the system up, it will suck the water through here, and pull your fertilizer solution out of your bucket, and deliver it out to your plants. And you put a valve in here so you can close it off. Lots of times you don't close this off completely, but enough to get this, start to suck the fertilizer out. - [Chris] Ron, I just want to give you a time check. We're at 12:44, and we want to save about 10 minutes at the end here to follow up with some questions. - [Ron] Yep, yeah, we are almost done. Thank you, Chris. And just a reminder that when you put this system in it's got to go after your backflow preventer, and before your filter, all right? And here's a pressurized system here. As long as the pressure in this tank is greater than your water pressure, you can inject the fertilizer through your system. And here's the system with the drip tape on a training wire. Here it is, excuse me, this is a drip tube. Here's the tube laying on top of the ground with a button. This is a blueberry plant. And as the plants get bigger, you can install more buttons. Here are onions, two rows of onions being fed by the same drip tape. And then here is a drip tape under plastic on tomatoes. If you're going with this system that you're laying on top of the ground, until the plants get big enough you probably are gonna have to get some landscape pins, and keep it in place, otherwise, it can be blown around by the wind. And you'll always have to contend with these guys, okay. These gophers like to chew on these lines. And I don't know exactly what they're after. I think they might be, not necessarily after water. I think they might like the salt solution that I end up having anyway, 'cause fertilizers are salty. And so I think they're after the salt, because you know just five feet away from this, I have a a manifold that's dripping water. They could go over and drink water out of that much easier than chewing on this. But field mice will actually chew holes in these drip tape. So that's why these couplers are always handy, because you're gonna cut this area out, and then put it back together with your coupler. Some of you are saying, "Well, why can't I just do this?" And it is being done in less developed countries where you just add some heights, and five gallon bucket, or a 250 gallon tank. The problem with this is it's not very uniform. You know, as this tank gets lower and lower, the water pressure gets lower and lower, and so you're not watering your plants uniformly from one end to the other. So it can be done, but only as a last measure. Cost depends on what you have already. Your water source, do I need to drill a well? Do I have a well already? You have to worry about that. Spacing of your rows, spacing within the row, distance from your water source to your planting. And then how much you can do. You know if you're gonna have to hire somebody to do all this, then it's gonna cost you something. And then overall total size as to whether or not you have a big, or smaller size. Just a quick look on Amazon shows you that you can get some pretty extensive systems for under $50, or close to $50. And some of them are hanging baskets designed specifically for hanging baskets. Some are designed for gardens, some are designed for landscaping, so you can just look for what you want. You can easily get something between $50 and $100. And then you can automate it. I think one of the, yeah, this one here actually comes with a automator, and so does this. These automators cost anywhere from $12 to $50, depending on how fancy you want to get. And these are really nice to have, because you don't have to worry about going away for a weekend, or a week, 'cause you can just automatically water it, and not depend on somebody else. It's all battery operated, as long as your system is pressurized, you're good to go. And here we are for questions, Chris. - [Chris] Okay. We've got a couple. Let's see, to start off. Melanie had wanted to raise this issue of hanging drip lines from trellises, and also wanted to talk about mitigating some of the problems for algae that develops on those lines, the hung truss lines, and mitigating burial concerns. And Melanie, you can unmute yourself, if you want to expand on your question at all. Otherwise, Ron what are your take on those two things? Mitigating algae on hung trellis lines, and what are your concerns about burying irrigation line? - [Ron] Well, it depends on where the algae is. If it's growing on the outside of the lines that's not much of an issue. So one of the things that, if you're gonna hang the line, what you need to do is make sure that that line is very tight, so that you don't want to have sags in it. Okay, 'cause your sags are where your water's going to drip. So you want to make sure that you have enough clamps to make sure that that line is straight. One of the nice things about hanging the lines from a wire, is that then your gophers, and your field mice can't get to it. And so that's nice to have that. But if the algae is inside that's where your acid treatments come in, where are you gonna have to clean it out from that. But if the algae is on the outside, that's usually not that much of a concern. - [Chris] Excellent. Okay. And then we had another question about critters chewing on emitters because of the salt. But I think you already addressed that. - Let me go into that further. What I found is that, remember I showed the picture of the potato field with the drip lines coming right out of the potatoes? What I have found is that as long as I cover those drip lines, the gophers leave them alone. So if you cover it with soil, they tend to leave it alone. The field mice like to get underneath the plastic, and they can be an issue underneath the plastic. But I've never had the field mice be as much of an issue as the gophers, right at the beginning. - Excellent. We have time for a couple more questions here. If you do not have any questions, and you want to wrap up and head out, I am gonna put a link in the chat. And this is where you can do the evaluation for this session to receive RUP or CCA credits. I'm gonna put that in the chat. I'll give everybody a chance to copy that. Remember, if you are a master gardener, this session does qualify for continuing education credits. You can count up to the full time of your participation. VMS is not available for entering education hours at the moment. It's gonna open up again soon, because we're in the middle of recertification. So it's like we're restocking. We can't have people pulling stuff off the shelves while we're putting stuff on. Okay, so go ahead and grab that evaluation link if you need RUP credits. And then you can head out if you do not have any questions. Otherwise let's move on to some other things. Melanie had another question here. "How do you deal with cultivation, and managing weeds when you have a buried drip line?" - I bury deep enough, if that's gonna be an issue. Or you put it right down the line of the plants where you're not going to be doing any cultivating anyway. - Gotcha. - Okay? - Okay, R. Petino asks about recommended spacing for let's see here, corn and soy. - Oh, is this a garden situation, or is this a? - Whoever is R. Petino in the chat, if you want to unmute yourself if you have a microphone. - [R. Petino] Field spacing or seed placement for corn, I was recommended 15 or less. And I'm just wondering with the drip line, what would you recommend? I did get suggestions of for the drip tape 45 to 60 inches of the drip tape spacement placement. Is that something you would recommend or do you know? I know it depends on the soil for sure. - It depends on the soil. What I have seen in some commercial corn and soybean settings is that they have one drip line for two rows. You know, they'll vary the drip line in between the two rows. Because the corn and soybean root system is vigorous enough that it will find it. But again, if you're going to cultivate, then you can't just lay it on top. You've got to bury it deep enough that, you know, your cultivators won't get it. But if you're gonna use herbicides, that's not an issue. But like I said, one drip line, and then on both sides of your corn. Your corn rows, and your soybeans rows are gonna be 30, 32 inches apart. And by the time those plants need that much water the root systems are big enough to find it. Does that kind of answer your question? - [R. Petino] Yeah, it does. Thank you so much. Because I'm thinking about like cover and forage, like gardens around it, like my tree line. And I'm just wondering how I could support the forage. Let's say I found the back end of my (audio skips) that uses that other (audio cuts off). And I'm just worried about contamination too with water in the drain on. The back end of my farm, it's my forage line and my garden. The forage tree line is adjacent to my corn. - How much water is recommended on an established lawn? Oh, boy, um. - Okay, so I know the answer to this one, so doing a very great- - Oh, great, Chris. Thank you. - About an inch per week. And I'm going to pop this resource into the chat. This is a fantastic little tip sheet from our smart garden series, right? That talks about how you can anticipate your lawn's watering needs. But the general rule of thumb that you're gonna see in here is an inch an inch a week during the growing. - Okay, we have iPad97's hand is raised. - You'll want to go ahead and unmute yourself there. So we can hear your question, unless you don't have a microphone. Oh, here we go, they put it in the chat here. Between rain and irrigation, how much, nope, that was the one from earlier. Okay, that was the one we just answered. The other one we had from an anonymous participant. Between rain and irrigation, nope that was the same question. - Let me talk about lawn irrigation a little bit. Part of the problem that people have with irrigating the lawns, is that they don't irrigate them long enough at one time. They'll irrigate it for 15 minutes and that's it. And what that does is that, depending on your soil type, your water's only going down an inch or so. And so what you're doing is you're encouraging the roots to only develop in that water zone. You know, 'cause the rest of it is dry, they're not gonna go there. And so if you just happen to miss one of those irrigations, your power's out, or you're gone for a week on vacation, you could seriously stress your lawn. You want a water, you know, make sure your water gets done a good six, eight inches. 'cause you want to encourage your grass to grow that deep. - So what you're saying is Ron, if we only have this very heavy thatch roots at the surface level, we can't risk losing, or missing an irrigation, because the roots aren't deep enough to access those lower layers of water? - Right, and you want to you want to do something to encourage those roots to go deeper. Even in a garden situation, you want to make sure that you are irrigating anywhere from 12 to 14 inches deep. - Excellent. Okay. Let's see another question here. Another one from our R. Petino. "I wonder about managing forest garden, forage forest gardens such as for maintenance of covers." Do you want to expand on that question a little bit? What was your specific question about maintaining covers? - [R. Petino] I think that Gretchen had a great question about livestock irrigation and pens. But I'm just worried about making sure that my flows don't cross each other from field to field. - Okay. We can pull up Gretchen's question that he's referencing. Gretchen's question was, "What about using drip lines in a livestock pen? Are there problems with walking on the lines?" She's concerned about three to nine small goats, and the maintenance of their fodder. - It'd have to be buried. If they walk on them, they could eventually break them. The other thing about goats, goats like to chew on stuff too. And so they may find them fun to chew on, because you know, I have problems with gophers in my system, but the tree person at the research station actually has problems with coyotes. Because the coyote, the lines on top of the ground, and the coyotes, I don't know, if it's a coyote adult, or the pups, or both, or who. But they will grab ahold of them, and drag them all over the place. And so it's probably in a livestock situation, it's best to bury them. - Okay, all right, we have time for one more question here. See if I can pull it up. Barbara Tobin asks, "How many water gauges do you recommend around the landscape? So you know how much water is actually being applied?" - Okay. Well, it depends on your different zones. You can move your gauge, you don't need 10 gauges. You can use one gauge and just move it. But it depends on what you're watering, and the age of your plants, size of your plants, whether it's a lawn, whether it's a garden. And again, whether there's a full-grown corn crop, or one that's only 12 inches tall. It varies quite a bit. And so that's why I say it's better to water the soil. And sometimes you need to look at it as I'm watering the soil. Same with fertilizer and fertilizing the soil, rather than I'm fertilizing the crop. So I'm watering the soil, getting the soil to where it needs to be, and then the crop will do its thing to pull it out. And so I just need to make sure that my soil water is adequate for the crop. And that changes crop to crop, you know, May to August it's much different. Fruiting tomato plants are much different than the newly transplanted plants. And so it's hard for me to give a recipe. - Yup. If you're, Barbara, if you're specifically talking about coverage and whether or not one part of the yard is getting more water than another, something that I do, I put out little tuna cans. And then you could just take a ruler, and you can measure an inch of water here, an inch of water there, just to make sure that you're getting even coverage. It does look like we've run out of time. I want to thank Ron for his fantastic presentation. I want to thank the audience for joining us, and for your very thoughtful questions. I just want to remind you that we do have an evaluation for this session for anyone that is pursuing RUP credits, or if you would like to provide your feedback, and your thoughts about how this session went. Okay. Thank you very much. This concludes this session. We appreciate you and enjoy the rest of your day. (bright orchestral music)