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Be Water Wise with drip irrigation


Published: June 21, 2016 • By: UCCE Colusa County Master Gardeners

Drip irrigation can significantly reduce water waste and be used successfully in any part of your landscape not planted with a lawn or groundcover. Drip emitters apply moisture directly into the root zone of plants, minimizing evaporation of water from the soil surface between plants. Soaker hoses, drip tape, porous pipe, mini-sprinklers, and laser tubing are all examples of drip systems.

“Smart” irrigation controller

These devices automatically program a prescribed number of minutes onto your irrigation controller, based on real-time or historical data. Seasonal adjustments are made automatically. Any irrigation controller is better than none.

Water early in the morning

Water before or shortly after sunrise to avoid water loss from soil evaporation, which otherwise would occur during the heat of the day. If your controller is automatic, remember to check to periodically. Sometimes the battery dies or sprinkler heads are broken.

Repair your system

Both sprinkler and drip irrigation systems should be checked regularly for broken or inoperative components and leaks that may otherwise go undetected. Examples are clogged nozzles, worn nozzles, tilted sprinkler heads and broken heads.

Water your trees

Remember to water your trees. Your trees need a slow soak every few weeks. This can be done with a soaker hose or drip line.

Don’t water the sidewalk and gutter!

— Contributed by The Master Gardeners of Colusa County. They can be contacted by: Phone (530) 458-0570. Email glhernandez@ucanr.edu. office, 100 Sunrise Blvd., Ste. E, Colusa,