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Home Irrigation

[music] [music] Hello, I’m Justin Moss, an associate
professor in horticulture here at Oklahoma State University and today I’m here
and a water conservation demonstration garden at the OSU Oklahoma City campus. And so I
wanted to talk a little bit about some ways you can save water use in your home landscape if you have an irrigation
system or if you water your yard. So, the first thing want to talk about
was just a few different type of irrigation controllers. You have
different manufacturers and different types that can be purchased. And so, I want to show you a couple from the
three main manufactures of these types of products. So, the first one is from
Toro. It’s called the Toro Evolution. And this particular unit is what’s
called a smart irrigation controller. And what makes it
smart as you can actually hook it up to a weather station. And it can sense rainfall. And it can sense wind and sunlight and temperature. And so you can actually base the way
that you irrigate your lawn based on the actual weather data is collected on-site at your yard. This station can also be used with
a soil sensor. So I soil center can be displaced in
into your turf grass or into your landscape
beds or both and can be used to sense the soil and when a soil gets too
dry, the irrigation will come on. If the soil is wet, the irrigation will not come on. So, good way to just give the plant the water that it
needs and save water in the landscape. Hunter
has a similar station it’s called the hunter I-Core. can
also be hooked up to a weather station like
this. As you see it has a wind sensor and a rain sensor and can be used to sense the data and
you can irrigate based on that. Most of these controllers
are set up to where you can set at them to summer watering
schedule. So the heat in the summer — July and August the plants use the most water. So you
send it to 100 percent capacity in summer. A lot
of times I may be one or one and a half inches of water per week. Then based on the weather climate
data, it will adjust and just apply a percentage
of that based on need. So maybe if it’s a wet week it would
automatically adjusted just maybe water only 25 percent or 30 percent of
that. If you don’t have the smart controllers
hooked up to it, you can still use that percentage and just every week you can manually
adjust. Say you have it set to water one-inch per week, this week you only need a half-inch just turned down a fifty-percent it’s
only going to water a half-inch that week. The Rain Bird also has a similar
controller. This one’s called the ESP-Me be can also be
hooked up to sensors and can be used very similar to the
others. Another thing you can do to help save
water around the home is make sure you know if you’re irrigating your lawn how much water you’re putting out. A
lot of times when we talk about rainfall or precipitation, we usually
talk about that in Oklahoma in inches. Maybe we say “how
much did it rain?” “Oh, it rained a half of inch” or one-inch. So it’s kind of
the same thing when you water your lawn you wanna try to measure how much you’re putting out on the lawn in inches
just like rainfall. The way we do that is do a catch can test and you can just set
any type of thing out in the yard and tried to collect the water that
you’re putting out with your irrigation system in measure how much you’re
putting out. I have a couple examples here today of
just a simple catch cup that’s specifically made
for irrigation systems. It’s got markings on it in inches where you can calculator or measure how much water you’re
putting out. Also for our program, the OSU
Cooperative Extension and the Water Center, we have just some handy rain gauges.
Notice that they are short so you can stick them down right at turf level or right at
landscape plant level and again we’ll tell you as you
collecting and water how much you’re putting out in inches. That’s very important because a lot of times we talk about trying to base irrigation on plant need and we usually talk about
that in in terms of evaporate-transpiration. All that means is as the water that is evaporated
daily to the atmosphere plus the water that’s used to the plants
through transpiration. So you combine evaporation and transpiration and you get
evapotranspiration. We have a website with the Oklahoma Mesonet that calculates that on a daily basis and you can look that up and see
exactly how much you need to water. Also we have fact sheets on how to do an irrigation
audit, how to measure your output, look at your uniformity or how even it’s spraying in the yard. Also we have fact
sheets on our smart controllers, how to select the best drought tolerant
plants for Oklahoma, and then also just how to
save water in your home landscape. You can download all these publications
through the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, you
can visit your Oklahoma County Extension office to get more
information, or for more information, you can contact the Water Center.

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