Hands-On Irrigation Class
The Ventura County Master Gardeners will be presenting a free “hands-on” irrigation class on September 9. The event is co-sponsored by the Calleguas Municipal Water District and is hosted on their property. Attendees will also receive an irrigation kit with a book and irrigation supplies provided by Calleguas and valued at 70 dollars to help you get started on your first project.
I attended the August class, and it was a great opportunity to learn how the system is designed and fits together. There was a short overview at the start led by Judith “J.J.” Januszewski (shown in picture) a Master Gardener Instructor. J.J. introduced us to the basics of low flow irrigation and gave us guidelines on how to use drip irrigation for container plants, raised-bed gardens, and landscaping. One nice feature is the board (see picture) with all the different types of fittings and connections attached to make it easier for the audience to point to what they have at home and get specific advice.
After the general overview, the audience was broken up into teams of four and matched up with two Master Gardeners for real hands-on experience. Each group was given a box of supplies and a diagram of our assignment. We had to attach a drip line to a hose bib and run a line to three shrubs, a 4x4 raised garden bed and a container that was about two feet off the ground on a wire stand. In short order, the students were using the tools, making connections, inserting splitters, and installing bubblers and drip feeds. The final test was turning on the system and learning how to make adjustments to fine-tune the system and stop any leaks.
The instructors had a number of recommendations to make the job easier and successful. There are too many to list, but a few key takeaways that I learned is that there are different types of pipe for above ground, and below ground, and PVC above ground should be painted or taped to protect from UV rays. Another critical area is that ½ tubing varies slightly in size between manufacturers, so you need to buy all your supplies from the same place to ensure that they work together.
The last class is on Saturday, September 9 and it is limited participation since it is a hands-on class. Go to this link to register.
The Master Gardeners also encourage you to bring your questions and specific concerns that you need help in solving and they will assist you in developing a solution.
About the Master Gardener Program:
The Master Gardener Program is a national program chartered through the United States Department of Agriculture, sponsored locally by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) of Ventura County, and the Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center.
The Master Gardener Program enables the University of California Cooperative Extension to more efficiently share its extensive gardening resources and science-based gardening information with Ventura County residents through public service, educational outreach, and research programs.
Master Gardeners are certified volunteers who extend horticultural knowledge to home gardeners. These volunteers play a vital role in providing the local public with non-biased gardening information.