Irrigation methods for southern california gardens
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Irrigation methods for southern california gardens

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Table that summarizes irrigation methods commonly used in S. California gardens. Lists their strengths, weaknesses & best uses.

Table that summarizes irrigation methods commonly used in S. California gardens. Lists their strengths, weaknesses & best uses.

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    Irrigation methods for southern california gardens Irrigation methods for southern california gardens Presentation Transcript

    • Commonly Used Irrigation Methods with CA Native Plants Method Hand watering with hose Description Area is watered by letting a hose run at a low rate for a period of time Hand watering with hose & sprinkler Area overhead watered with a sprinkler attached to a hose Overhead watering with ‘rainbird’ type sprinkler Area overhead watered with fixed rainbird sprinkler (or one attached to hose or quickcoupler) Advantages      Cheap Simple; no moving parts Flexible; use/move as needed Leaves kept dry Low water pressure not a problem     Disadvantages  Requires convenient spigots*  Takes time Best Used for  Zone 2** with welldrained soils (not sand)  Zone 3 (around a pond)  Pots or planters with raised edges to allow flooding  Rain gardens/swales  Established trees Cheap Simple; few moving parts Flexible; use/move as needed Can water a fairly large area depending on sprinkler  Good for delicate plants, seedlings  Low water pressure not a problem  Requires convenient spigots*  Takes time; but could attach a simple timer  Wets foliage – need to water in early a.m.  Have to replace sprinklers periodically  Zone 2 or 3  Just about any soil  Native prairies/lawns (establishment)  Annual wildflower meadows  Mixed beds (grasses, annuals, perennials)  Moderately inexpensive  Moderately simple; durable  Can water a large area, including on hillsides  Can be flexible (if attached to hose)  Requires good water pressure  May not get even coverage  May damage delicate plants  Zone 2 or 3  Large areas (meadows; prairies)  Hillsides/slopes
    • Method Overhead watering with conventional fixed sprinklers Drip irrigation: conventional emitters Description Area overhead watered by a conventional sprinkler system; may be fitted with low flow (water saving) heads Advantages Disadvantages Best Used for  Relatively permanent  Easy to connect to timers; don’t need to be there to water  May already be in place  May get good coverage  Expensive  Requires installation  Costs & time to maintain (e.g., broken pipes, etc)  Not as flexible as hand watering  Requires sufficient water pressure  Heads/risers can be trip hazard  Zone 3  Mowed lawns  Tropical plants  Water efficient – water only Emitters emit a applied where it’s needed trickle of water.  Water applied at slow They come in enough rate to soak in different sizes;  System can be covered with larger sizes allow a mulch higher flow of  Relatively easy to install water. Emitters are  Foliage is kept dry placed at the root  Low water pressure is fine zone of individual  Fewer weeds – less area plants or in pots. watered  System has limited lifespan  Moderately expensive (depending on size of system)  Regular maintenance; emitters get plugged  If mulch-covered can’t see whether working properly  Soil can become over-watered leading to disease  Tubes have to be staked down or they move  Tubes can be a trip hazard  If too few emitters root growth may be inhibited  Zone 1 & 2  Establishment of shrubs (CSS & chaparral particularly)  Larger vegetables (tomatoes; melons)  Pots  Berms  Odd-shaped & narrow areas  Areas that cannot be conventionally piped
    • Method Drip irrigation fitted with bubblers or pop-up microsprayers Soaker hose Description Bubblers emit higher flows in a circular pattern (useful for irrigating shrubs and for filling basins around newly planted trees/shrubs Microsprays emit large droplets or fine streams of water just above the ground. They have higher flow rates than conventional emitters Area is watered by porous hoses that emit water at a moderate rate. Hose may be covered with mulch Advantages  Water efficient – water only applied where it’s needed  Water applied at slow enough rate to soak in  System can be covered with mulch  Relatively easy to install  Foliage is kept dry (larger plants)  Can see the emitters, so can monitor their function better than with conventional emitters  Foliage can be washed (some native like occasional summer spray)  Low water pressure is fine  Low cost  Easy to install  Flexible; can install when & where needed  Moderate lifespan (3-5 years)  More water-wise than spray systems Disadvantages  Many of same disadvantages as conventional drip  Less water efficient than conventional drip  Maintenance; can overpressure the system  Can’t put as many emitters on a line compared to conventional emitters  Less water efficient than drip  If mulch-covered can’t see whether working properly  Soil can become over-watered leading to disease  Hoses have to be staked down or they move Best Used for  Zone 1 & 2  Establishment of shrubs (coastal, CSS, chaparral & woodland)  Berms  Odd-shaped & narrow areas  Areas that cannot be conventionally piped       Zones 1-3 (best 2 & 3) Vegetable gardens New shrubs/perennials Established trees & shrubs Tropical plants Wetland plants * spigot or quick-coupler connect ** Water Zone 1 = no/very occasional irrigation / Water Zone 2 = occasional water (once every 3-4 weeks in summer) / Water Zone 3 = regular