- Author: Chris M. Webb
The 2011 UC Master Gardener Vegetable Demonstration Garden Project has recently finished. A group of certified Master Gardeners and trainees spent time each week from January 27 through December 15 learning vegetable gardening techniques through hands-on experience.
They documented their project so that they could impart lessons learned throughout the2011 project. This article is the fifth in a series to share this knowledge.
Proper irrigation is vital to plant health. Drip irrigation has many benefits for plants, conserves water, and reduces weed growth. Drip irrigation systems, drip hoses or tape can be used.
- Water needs should be re-evaluated as the weather changes.
- Seedlings will die easily if they dry out.
- Install 10 psi pressure regulators on irrigation systems with flat drip tape. If a 25 psi pressure regulator is used inadvertently, it is likely that the tape will balloon up and pop during operation. 25 psi pressure regulators should be used on irrigation systems that have 3/4inch tubes and emitters.
- There are various types of pressure regulators. One type has a hole in the side and discharges a steady stream of water when the incoming pressure is high, which wastes a lot of water. Look for a pressure regulator that does not discharge water.
- When inserting .710 inch O.D. tubing (blue stripe) into a .700 inch O.D. fitting (black fitting), use soapy water to reduce the resistance. Hold the tubing with sandpaper to improve your grip.
- Avoid getting dirt in irrigation tubes and fittings, since it may clog the emitters. Flush the system to make sure that any debris is forced out the end of the tubing, before closing.
- When inserting irrigation tubing into tees and elbow fittings, be careful not to push the tubing in too far. Normally, there are no stops to prevent the tubing from going in too far. Tubing that is inserted too far can cause flow restrictions.
Questions on gardening? Please contact our Master Gardener helpline at 645-1455 or contact them by email at email@example.com.