Advanced Drip Irrigation - Field Installations
4.3 (24 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
171 students enrolled

Advanced Drip Irrigation - Field Installations

Water Management in the Landscape
4.3 (24 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
171 students enrolled
Created by Rob Littlepage
Last updated 12/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 9 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • At the end of this course you'll have a greater understanding of how to lay out and install in-line drip irrigation systems.
  • You should have a basic understanding of drip irrigation materials and components prior to taking this course. There are no other tools or materials required. There will be extensive resources available throughout the class for you to download, including the irrigation plan used for this property.

This class is for those of you who want to learn, not just installation techniques, but how to actually calculate the amount of water your landscape requires for better water management.  This is not a beginners course on drip irrigation.  If you're decent with math and have a desire to be a better water manager then this course should be a good fit for you.

This was filmed both out of doors at a private residence in Martinez, California - near the San Francisco Bay and in my studio in Auburn, California.  It documents the installation of in-line drip irrigation under real-world situations; all of the participants work in the landscape and irrigation industry.  Explanations and  installation tips are offered and discussed throughout this course, each "actor" having the opportunity to describe what they are doing and why.  We'll be discussing drip irrigation for established plantings, vegetable beds, fruit trees, ornamental beds and native plants on a hillside.   Due to the location there will be times when leaf blowers, a jack hammer and passenger jets flying overhead will be heard.  I have done my best to mitigate these distractions and I don't feel they take anything away from the course, but I want you to be aware of them from the start.

The "in studio" lectures is where I'll be covering water management issues such as using reference evapotranspiration rates to help determine your irrigation run times.  We'll look at the formula for how to calculate the gallons of water your landscape needs.  The values I will be using are for Placer County, California, USA.  The formulas will work wherever you may be living, but you'll have to do some research on your own to find the critical evapotranspiration rate values for your location.  Universities, agricultural stations, farm advisers and local weather stations are all resources you can reach out to to get this information.

There will be some math included - techniques and formulas for determining how much water your various plants will require to be healthy without over-watering and wasting this resource.  Exercises and resources will be available for download and the irrigation plan for this project will also be available for you to download and refer to for your own projects.

The purpose of this course is to offer real-world solutions and insights into how drip irrigation can and should be designed and installed - whether you're a homeowner or a landscape contractor/designer.  If you're really interested in learning how to design and manage an effective drip irrigation system for your home or for a client, then I believe this course will be perfect for you.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is for those already familiar with drip irrigation. We'll be working with in-line systems and demonstrating how to lay out and install irrigation in an actual yard. If you are interested in seeing and learning about the real-world challenges of designing and installing in-line drip systems, then this course is for you!
Course content
Expand all 19 lectures 02:10:11
+ Introduction
4 lectures 24:08

This course is to show how to install drip irrigation into both new and established planting beds.  We had the opportunity to work in a real landscape in Martinez, California.  Within the Resources for this lecture you'll be able to download the actual irrigation plan prepared by Lori that you can use as a reference throughout this class as well as for any future installation or designs you may tackle.  Enjoy!

Preview 05:58

Drip irrigation operates at very low gallon per minute flow rates, in fact drip irrigation is rated in gallons per hour.  All irrigation valves have minimum flow rates required for them to operate properly.  In this lecture we'll learn how to calculate how much water you are using and then use the manufacture's catalog to select the correct valve for your system.

Sizing Valves for Drip Irrigation

This lecture will cover the basics of calculating your flow rates so as not to exceed the capacity of your water supply or the specifications of the valve you've selected.  All of your irrigation components need to be in balance to work properly.

Preview 08:58

PVC pipe can break easily when a sprinkler is kicked or a drip line is pulled.  This damage allows dirt and other debris to enter the piping and clog your drip emitters or sprinklers.  It also is a major cause of water waste.  By inserting a flexible connection between the ridged pvc and the drip irrigation lines (or sprinkler heads) the chances of breakage or damage are greatly reduced.  In this lesson we'll look at how to make this connection and protect your new system from harm.

Installing a Flexible Connection
+ Water Management
9 lectures 01:20:32

This lecture will be an introduction to understanding how much water your plants require to be healthy.  Whether they be very low, low, medium or high water use species they still need to be irrigated properly so as not to waste water.  Lori will start this discussion...

In California we use a document titled "Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS).  This document is available for download as a PDF or Excel file.  Follow the link I've provided to access the document. Note - this information was designed for use in California.  If you live elsewhere you'll need to consult with your local nurseries, agricultural extension or master gardeners to get accurate information.

Preview 07:10

There are two types of drip irrigation - point source (where we run an individual emitter or series of emitters to each plant) and line source (where the emitters are built in to the drip line and then this is installed in a grid fashion).  Point source works on a gallons per hour basis while line source works on a precipitation rate formula.

In this lesson we'll look at both systems.

Determining Precipitation Rates in Drip Systems

Given the values provided calculate the precipitation rates for an inline drip system.  Formula will be provided

Calculating PR for Inline Drip Systems
1 question

Starting our discussion on how evapotranspiration rates are used to help with water management

How Much Water Do Your Plants Really Need? Part One

In Part Two I'll go over how to determine how many gallons per day (GPD) your plants need when you're designing and installing point source drip irrigation.

How Much Water Do Your Plants Really Need? Part Two

Now we'll look at calculating run times when using inline drip irrigation.  With point source drip we used gallons per day, with inline we'll be working with precipitation rate application.

How Much Water Do Your Plants Really Need Part Three

In this lecture we'll cover the steps required to determine the correct amount of water for fruit trees in this garden.  Although we're using in-line irrigation, we'll calculate the water needs based on point source principles.  At the end of this lecture you will be able to use this same procedure to design your system and provide the water your trees require and not waste water by over-irrigating.

Determining Irrigation for Fruit Trees

Knowing how much water your plants need is one thing - knowing how long to water and how to use evapotranspiration rates in your irrigation scheduling to apply the right amount of water is another.  At the end of this lesson you'll be able to use your local ETo rates to create a run time schedule for your irrigation for each month of the year.  Exercises available in the Resources section will give you the opportunity to practice using the formulas necessary to create these schedules.  All the math formulas are available for download.  The formulas I am providing are the same as in Lecture 9.

Using ETo to Calculate Irrigation Runtimes for New Plantings

In this quiz you'll use the formulas provided in the Resources to calculate run times for a hypothetical landscape.  Necessary values will be provided to you.

Calculate Plant Water Requirements
1 question

Good water management is about knowing when and how much water to apply.  With inline drip systems you're working with precipitation rates and evapotranspiration for your location as well as plant factors to determine how much water to apply and how long to run your system to achieve this.  In our last lecture we covered irrigation run times for new or high water-use landscapes. In this lecture we'll use the same formula again, but this time for low water-use plantings.

Using ETo to Calculate Irrigation Runtimes for Low Water-Use Plantings

In our last two lectures we looked at precipitation rates in water management.  In this lecture we'll change course a bit and look at how you would determine gallons of water your landscape requires and based on whether it's low, medium or high water use.  This formula is used in your initial water budgeting.  We'll look at two different landscapes for comparison.  In the first example we'll calculate how much water 1000 square feet of lawn needs to stay green and healthy and in the second example we'll compare this number to 1000 square feet of vegetable garden.  The difference may surprise you!

How To Calculate Gallons of Water Required in the Landscape

Every landscape requires a certain amount of water to survive.  In this quiz you'll be asked to calculate how much water a vegetable garden requires.  Values and formula will be provided.

How Many Gallons a Day Does Your Landscape Require?
1 question
+ Field Installation Tips, Techniques and Demonstrations
4 lectures 16:25

In this lecture we're in the field at our site where the crew, led by Seth Wright of Wright Landscapes, will explain how to install inline drip in an established planting bed.  These folks are real-world gardeners and directing them was a bit like herding cats, but you'll get some tips and tricks from watching this lesson.

Preview 06:13

Vegetable beds can be a challenge, but with some forethought you can irrigate effectively and efficiently.  Homeowner and retired farm adviser Janet Caprile explains her method of managing her vegetable beds.  I think you'll get some really good ideas from this talk.

Drip Irrigation in Vegetable Beds

Many (but not all!) California native plants require little water through the summer months.  In this garden the established native plants are all low water use.  But, they are planted on a hillside and like all irrigation systems, drip requires a minimum pressure to operate properly.  Ginny Babbitt will explain this concept in her presentation.

Drip Irrigation for Native Plantings
Section Wrap-Up
+ Weather Based Irrigation Controllers (Smart Controllers)
1 lecture 07:09

Weather based controller can save both time and money.  In this short lecture I'll discuss some of the basic concepts of smart controllers without going into a lot of detail.

Weather Based Irrigation Controllers - An Overview
+ Wrap Up and Thank You!
1 lecture 01:57

Thanks so much for being a part of this course!  Lori will do a brief wrap-up of all that we've covered.  don't forget to access the resources we've made available to you throughout the lessons.  See you next time!!

Course Wrap-Up and Thank You