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Now that the weather is getting warmer and much of our rain is over, our gardens and most of our landscapes will need some regular water to help them thrive in the heat and longer days of summer. Most of us now have drip irrigation systems, which some of us may have turned off for the winter. It’s a good idea to give your irrigation system a spring check-up. The Urban Farmer Store in Richmond is a great resource for irrigation supplies and information. Their Introduction to Drip Irrigation Guide describes how to design and install your own irrigation system and suggestions these simple yearly tasks:

  1. Run each of your irrigation system’s zones during the day when you are home and it is quiet enough to observe and hear any leaks. 
  2. Inspect the flow from each emitter. Is water getting to the right location?
  3. Flush the irrigation lines by removing the end caps at the end of the lines and turning on the water.
  4. Clean the filter. Most filters have a mesh screen or disc screen, which can be cleaned by scrubbing it with a brush or using a high-pressure hose.
  5. If you have any leaks or need to remove or replace an emitter, you can use a “goof plug” to plug the holes.

In addition to the Drip Irrigation Guide, the Urban Farmer Store also has a number of how-to videos that you can access from their website. Of course, if you have regular landscape maintenance, you can also ask them to give your irrigation system a check-up.

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