Irrigation and Watering
For many newcomers of the Valley of the Sun irrigation and watering schedules can be very confusing, especially when you hear something different from everyone you talk to!
Irrigation is an absolute necessity here in the desert and mastering watering times and durations is an amazing skill to have - and one even landscapers continue working to perfect.
Since we work exclusively here in Festival Ranch we'll discuss the types of irrigation and watering techniques that are utilized within our community.
This page is under construction and will be updated frequently...so check back often!
Q: "I can see the black drip line by the plant but there is nothing on the end of it, does this mean there is no emitter on this line?"
A: NO. There are two ways of installing emitters on drip lines. (1) They can be placed underground off of the mainline and then the drip line is installed on top of them, or (2) they are installed on the ends of the drip line.
Do NOT place an emitter on the end of the line unless water is spraying out like a hose! When the water is dripping out of the line it is doing it's job. If the plant is looking dehydrated and droopy then it may need more water. The size of the emitter can be changed to allow for more water to be distributed to the plant.
Basic Components of a Drip Irrigation System
Controller/Timer: This controls the watering cycles by automatically activating the control valves on the days and times you pre-select, thereby directing when, how long, and how often the irrigation system operates.
Backflow preventer: This device prevents irrigation system water from being siphoned back into the pipe that carries drinking water into your home. All cities have ordinances that require installation of a backflow preventer. Contact your city for permit and installation requirements.
Control valves: Manually or automatically operated control valves are used to turn the water on and off. Automatic control valves are wired to a controller.
Filter: All drip systems need some type of filter to keep dirt and debris from clogging the emitters.
Pressure regulator: Most drip systems operate at low pressure, between 20 and 30 PSI (pounds per square inch). Pressure regulators reduce incoming water pressure to the ideal pressure for the drip system.
Pipe/Poly tubing: This is the main water conduit in a drip irrigation system. It is also called an irrigation line or lateral. Polyethylene tubing and hard PVC pipe are the two most commonly used types of pipe.
Micro tubing:This delivers water from the emitters or poly tubing to the plants.
Emitters: These connect to the poly tubing or micro tubing and deliver water at a slow, consistent rate, usually 1/2, 1 or 2 gallons per hour (gph).
Goof plugs: Goof plugs correct mistakes by plugging extra or misplaced holes in the poly tubing.