Upcoming watering workshops
One can’t really tell from the strange weather we have been having but spring might be here. Some people have only recently had their lawn sprinkler systems turned on. Some are still working to get their pumps going. Others have been watering their lawns and gardens for quite some time.
The first thing that needs to be accomplished once the system is turned on is to check to ensure all the sprinkler heads and other components are working properly. Are the heads crooked or cracked? Are the heads spaced properly and providing proper coverage? Do the heads at the bottom of a slope continue to run even when the system is turned off? All of these items need to be checked and corrected as soon as the system is operational.
I had several cracked heads and one split pipe in my system this spring. From what I have heard from others, these problems have been fairly common due to our long cold winter. I also had a couple of connections that were not tight and came apart during the winter. Thankfully these problems were corrected when my system was pressurized this spring.
We will be conducting a workshop on May 18 from 9 to noon at the First Congregational Church at 5th and Kennedy designed to teach you how to identify and correct sprinkler system problems. Low head drainage, spacing of sprinklers, using the correct nozzles, correcting the arc and throw, replacing heads and correcting broken pipes will all be covered. You can register by calling 244-1834. Registering will ensure we have adequate handouts and staff available for the workshop. You can either pay the $5 per person registration fee at the CSU Extension office at the Mesa County Fairgrounds or when you show up at the workshop.
On May 20, we will be doing a workshop at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta for those who want to learn how to properly water their lawns. You will learn how to determine the water pressure at critical locations in your system, and how to determine the proper irrigation schedule for each month of the season for each sprinkler zone in your system. We will conduct an audit of a sprinkler zone so you will know how to audit your own lawn. This session will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Rec Center. Preregister is through the Delta CSU Extension office on Dodge Street - 874-2195. A $5 registration fee is being charged for this session.
An even longer and more in-depth session on how to audit your lawn will be held in Grand Junction on Tuesday, June 8 at the Sagebrush Room at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. We’ll start at 9 a.m., break for lunch between noon and one and continue until 3. If you install sprinklers, work for a municipality, school district, college or other agency and are responsible for sprinkler system maintenance and scheduling or simply want to learn more about how to conduct irrigation audits and develop a watering schedule this is the session you should attend. We will show you how to audit your system to determine water application rate and efficiency and how to use that data so ensure your lawn receives the proper amount of water for each month of the season. We will provide everyone who attends this session a CD containing a program you can use to develop a watering schedule based on an audit. The June 8 session will cost $10 to attend. Please register by calling the CSU Extension office in Grand Junction at 244-1834. Irrigation audit kits will be available for rent at the CSU Extension offices in Grand Junction, Delta and Montrose for those who want to conduct lawn irrigation audits.
If you are interested in learning more about drip irrigation we will be conducting a workshop on this topic at Pioneer Village in Cedaredge on Saturday May 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While this session may not take all this time, I want to ensure we cover everyone’s questions. We will cover the different types of drip tubing and which one should be used based on soil texture. How to determine the water holding capacity of the soil, how much water plants use and how often and how long the system should be run will be covered. We will be testing several different types of drip systems to determine pressure needs, filtration requirements, emitter spacing and flow rates and spacing between drip lines. For our hands-on exercise we will design and install a drip system in one of the flower beds at the village. A $10 per person registration fee is being charged for this session. We will take time out for lunch. You may want to bring your own lunch or eat at one of the local eateries. I would appreciate it if you would register for this session by calling the Delta Extension office at 874-2915. Paying ahead of time is preferred but you can always pay the fee when you arrive at the site.
If you want to learn more about drip systems prior to the May 29 session, or simply want to find out what is recommended for our soils, check out the display I have installed at the Grand Junction Community Garden at the Library at the corner of 5th and Chipeta in Grand Junction. This display will be in place until the end of May and then replaced with another display related to vegetable gardening in Western Colorado.