Waterwise Gardening - Los Alamos, New Mexico


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Waterwise Gardening - Los Alamos, New Mexico

  1. 1. Waterwise Gardening Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service and the Department of Public Utilities Photo: Robert Villegas, CanyonEcho Graphics, Los Alamos, NM 2006 APRIL 2007 Welcome Alamos once Spring has arrived in Los We hope that the information contained in WG-0407-JWH again. That time of year when all of us begin these newsletters is helpful. Contact us with planning our gardens with anticipation. questions or suggestions. We’d love to hear The Los Alamos Cooperative Extension from you. This Issue Service and the Department of Public Utilities want to remind you that a beautiful, Carlos Valdez, County Program Director Drip for a Waterwise colorful landscape can be waterwise and Cooperative Extension Service Landscape reduce summer water bills. In conjunction (505) 662-2656 • The Basic Parts of a with the full-color wall calendar delivered http://www.l o s a l a m o s e x t e n s i o n .n m s u .e d u Drip System to you in January we are including with your • Often Asked Questions utility bill a series of newsletters - Waterwise Department of Public Utilities, Plant of the Month Gardening - between April and September. Los Alamos County The newsletters will focus on various ways (505) 662-8130 Drought Outlook you can conserve water in your landscaping. http://www.losalamosnm.us April/May Drip for a Waterwise Landscape Drip irrigation (sometimes called trickle health hazard) rather than just a pollutant. Events irrigation) is an effective way to conserve Pressure Regulator - Most drip systems Think a Bright Green water. It works by applying water slowly, will need a pressure regulator. Follow the Future - Earth Day directly to the soil. The high efficiency of manufacturers recommendations regarding Join in the celebration drip irrigation results from two primary pressure. The regulator can go before or after and numerous activi- factors. The first is that the water soaks into the valve. Traditionally it is installed after ties Saturday, April 21st the soil before it can evaporate or run off. the valve. from 10 AM - 2 PM at The second is that water Filter - You must use the Pajarito Environ- is only applied where it Valve a filter. Drip emitters Backflow Preventer mental Education Center is needed. While drip Pressure Regulator have very small openings (PEEC) located at systems are simple and Filter that are easily clogged. Tubing Adapter 3540 Orange Street pretty forgiving of errors Municipal water is not Drip Tubing Los Alamos, NM in design and installation, free from particles that 18” Minimum (505) 662-0460 there are some guidelines Between Emitters will clog your emitters! that if followed, will make Emitters Use a 150 mesh screen or David Salman for a much better drip End Cap one with a higher mesh Discusses system. number like 200 mesh. Rock Gardening The inexpensive plastic (Growing in Tuff ) The Basic Parts of a Drip System filters often sold for drip systems should David Salman with Valve - Use any valve you want! They be installed after the pressure regulator. Santa Fe Green House can be automatic or manual. If you use an However, a top quality filter installed right will discuss how to suc- anti-siphon valve it has a built-in backflow at the water source protects the valves and cessfully grow plants in preventer which saves money! the pressure regulator too. Most valve tuff or volcanic ash depos- Backflow Preventer - You need to use a failures result from sand or rust particles its Thursday, May 17th, backflow preventer on ALL drip systems. clogging of the tiny passages inside the 7 PM at Fuller Lodge No exceptions! Your landscape has all kinds valve! Use a filter that is the same size as, or 2132 Central of nasty things in it that will make you sick larger than, the valve. Los Alamos, NM or worse if you drink them. Thus irrigation Emitters - Most emitters emit about one (505) 662-2656 water is considered a contaminant (creates a gallon per hour (gph). A low flow rate such
  2. 2. as 0.6 gph, often referred to as “1/2 gallon per hour” emitters How many emitters per valve? is preferable. Use pressure compensating emitters if you are Use the chart below to determine how many emitters at the irrigating a hilly area. There are many different types and brands standard 18” spacing can be installed on each valve circuit. available. Use single outlet emitters for a less troublesome drip Maximum 200 feet of tubing system Emitter volume No. of emitters for No. of emitters for Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service and the Department of Public Utilities Mainline - The mainline is the pipe that goes from the water (gallons per hour) 3/4” water supply 1” water supply source to the valves. The mainline may be made of galvanized 1/2 gph 300 700 steel, copper, SCH 40 PVC, SCH 80 PVC, Cl 315 PVC, Heavy 1 gph 180 420 Wall Polyethylene (SDR 7 or SDR 9). Drip Tubing - Drip tubing is a thin wall polyethylene tube, What is the maximum allowable tube length? and is generally produced in metric sizes. Common sizes are The length of drip hose depends on emitter spacing. With the 12 mm (0.455” or 3/8”), 16mm (0.620” or 1/2”), 18mm (0.720” standard 18” spacing, you should not exceed 200’ from the point or 1/2”), and 24mm (0.940” or 3/4”). Do you see the problem? the water enters the tube to the end of the tube. Thus you could Two sizes are commonly referred to as “1/2 inch” in the USA! have 400’ of tube if the water entered the tube in the middle. The fittings for these two are not interchangeable. So make sure You can extend one tube off of another as long as the total you know what you’re getting when you buy it! Do not bury drip length of the tubes that are connected is not more than 200’.Waterwise Gardening tubing underground- gophers love to chew buried tubing! Should I bury emitters? Adapters and fittings - Used to attach the drip tube to the Generally emitters are not buried. There are select other parts. Important- make sure the fittings are the exact right applications, such as subsurface drip irrigation for turf, where size! Using fittings made for a different tubing size will result emitters are buried. Tubing is generally placed on top of the soil in the tube blowing out of the fitting. 9 times out of 10, when a surface with mulch on top. tube blows out of a fitting it is because the fitting is the wrong What about feeder tubes, spaghetti, and distribution tubing? size. Feeder tubes, “spaghetti,” and distribution tubing are all End Cap- The end cap is important. Without it the water all names used for small diameter tubes, that is anything less than runs out the end of the drip tube. 3/8” in diameter. Maintenance is a problem as these small tubes tend to be easily cut, broken, pulled loose, and are generally a Often Asked Questions nuisance. The exception is when they are stapled above ground How Many Emitters are Needed? to a trellis or arbor for watering hanging plants. They need to be Two emitters per plant, minimum. Trees and large shrubs will firmly attached, in a location where they will not be damaged. need more. Obviously, using two allows for a backup if one clogs Are fittings interchangeable? up (which happens even on the best designed and maintained There are many sizes of drip tubing sold, and the fittings have drip systems.) But just as important, more emitters also wet to be made for the exact size tube you are using. If they don’t more soil area. This results in more roots, and a healthier, fit exactly, they will either be very hard to install, or the tube happier plant. Exception: if the plants are very close together will blow off the fitting. Sometimes it takes a week or so for the you may need to use less than two per plant in order to maintain tube to come loose, but if the fitting is even a little too large, the the minimum spacing between emitters. Minimum spacing tubing will come off eventually. for emitters: Rule of thumb- install emitters 45 cm (18”) apart There are two types of fittings. The first and most commonly under 80% of the leaf canopy of the plant. This is where the used is the “compression” type. On this type the tubing shoves majority of the water absorbing roots are. inside the fitting. Compression type fittings tend to be harder to What valve size to use? install, but hold up longer. The second type is “barbed” fittings. Use a 3/4” valve for most systems. Any type of valve may be With barbed fittings you shove the tubing over a barb on the used. fitting. This stretches and weakens the thin wall of the drip tubing as it goes over the barb. Problems arise over time, usually Seasonal Drought Outlook within a few years, as the tubing splits and the fittings comes off. Plant of the Month Taken from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center online at: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html Through June 2007 Desert Beardtoungue Released March 15, 2007 (Penstemon pseudospectabilis) KEY: NV UT CO 36” x 18” wide, (seed propagated). A Drought to persist or intensify CA beautiful, nearly ever-blooming species Drought ongoing, native to southern New Mexico. The long spikes of hot pink flowers contrast Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS some improvement NM AZ Drought likely to improve, impacts ease TX beautifully with the large gray leaves. A Drought development likely few deep waterings during the heat of the summer are all that is required to keep PLANTS Database Depicts general, large-scale trends based on subjectively derived probabilities guided by numerous indicators, the plant blooming. This Penstemon including short- and long-range statistical and dynamical forecasts. Short-term events -- such as individual storms -- cannot be accurately forecast more than a few days in advance, so use caution if using this outlook for loves hot weather, prefers well drained applications -- such as crops -- that can be affected by such events. “Ongoing” drought areas are approximated from the Drought Monitor (D1 to D4). For weekly drought updates, see the latest Drought Monitor map and soil, and is recommended for both White text. NOTE: the green improvement areas imply at least a 1-category improvement in the Drought Monitor Rock and Los Alamos. intensity levels, but do not necessarily imply drought elimination. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator. TY OF LOS A LA N COU M NMSU, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Los Alamos County cooperating. OS N EW CO MEXI