Irrigation Class Part II November 10, 2021
November 10, 2021, DIG it hosted a second Irrigation workshop. Bullhead City Master Gardeners Emeriti Bill Stillman, and Leroy Jackson, and Master Gardeners Debbie Miller, and Sally Stevens who are all part of the Mohave County U of A Cooperative Extension program, were the instructors. The sponsor for this class was Mohave Community College and Lori Gunnette. Lori was present at the class demonstration. Bill, Leroy, and Debbie gave many tips and ideas on how the home gardener could set up a water wise and efficient irrigation system. They discussed different capacity emitters, pressure compensating emitters, pressure regulators and reducers, PVC pipe (always use schedule 40), poly tubing, spaghetti (micro) tubing, manifolds, timers, valves, and controllers. The first part of the discussion was how to tell when a plant needs irrigation, the frequency and how much water. A soil probe that can be purchased or made should be inserted into the soil to determine how far the water is penetrating. The soil should be wet to a depth of up to twenty four inches, depending on the plant or tree. This will aid in determining how much water to use and how often (the frequency) to water. Bill demonstrated how to bury spaghetti tubing in the soil by running the tubing through 1/2 inch PVC pipe and forcing it into the soil. It was also pointed out how to safely and effectively put holes in poly tubing so that spaghetti tubing with their emitters can be attached. Also the students were admonished to never put bubblers right near the base of a tree unless there is a berm for the water to run into. This is a type of flood irrigation. Flood irrigation is not as accurate as using emitters. Emitters should be placed at the tree line so that roots away from the tree can receive water. This helps anchor the tree strongly and prevents the tree from falling over in heavy wind. PVC pipe and fittings were discussed and demonstrated. Bill mentioned to never use Teflon tape when putting PVC fittings together. There is danger of screwing the thread in too far. Leroy and Debbie demonstrated how to properly cut PVC pipe and then glue it together. Leroy pointed out that you should always use sand paper on the PVC pipe first to give it more surface before using the glue. There was hands on student participation. Questions, comments, and suggestions were taken throughout the workshop. Bill showed which type of timer could be used in the home garden so that regularly scheduled waterings could be achieved. This was an excellent class.