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DavidR
11-07-2007, 11:24 AM
...to my irrigation system. My current system is comprised of a Hunter SRC controler along with mostly I-20 heads (changing all from RB 5000's), 8 zones and 32 heads.

Now, I would like to make this system more conservative. I find that sometimes I irrigate to much and sometimes not enough depending on weather. Parts of my yard retains a bunch of moisture, I have been working for a while to adjust the operating times on each zone. This, along with replacing the broken RB heads, has really helped. Now I would like to add something that would sense moisture in order to make the system a bit more water conservative. The bills in the middle of summer really get high.

Is this possible to add to my current system and is it something that me, a homeowner, could install? I don't mind putting some time into it and was thinking of something along the lines of a Baseline S100. Would this help me or do you recommend something else?

hoskm01
11-07-2007, 12:00 PM
Now, I would like to make this system more conservative.


Political change is never easy. Good luck in your endeavor!

troc
11-07-2007, 03:59 PM
The watertech S100 is a good place to start. It's easy to install, although there is a little calibration time involved and sensor placement is key. Keep in mind though, the watertech is going to control whether or not your ENTIRE system runs on a given day. You need to get into the more advanced Baseline systems in order to do zone groupings and micro-climates. Should not be an issue since your system sounds relatively small.
Good Luck

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-07-2007, 06:37 PM
Read this thread.http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=201440 I think this is what you are looking for. Also check out the weathermatic Smartline www.smartline.com

DavidR
11-07-2007, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the links. That is the thread I go the idea from.

Would I really only benefit from using the Baseline if I coupled it with the Weathermatic? Should I install the Weathermatic then the Baseline or vice versa? Also, would I need to run any new wires in order to install the Weathermatic or could I use the existing?

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-07-2007, 07:12 PM
Thanks for the links. That is the thread I go the idea from.

Would I really only benefit from using the Baseline if I coupled it with the Weathermatic? Should I install the Weathermatic then the Baseline or vice versa? Also, would I need to run any new wires in order to install the Weathermatic or could I use the existing?

My advice would be to install the WM SLine and not worry about the Baseline for awhile. Set the interval period for every third day. That seems to be the frequency that my Baseline allows watering. No extra wires needed for either. Will need to hardwire in the WM weather monitor.

Kiril
11-07-2007, 11:43 PM
Personally, the first place I would look at is your landscape, not the irrigation system. Water conservation should be less about irrigation, and more about reducing or eliminating the need for it.

That being said, if between a rock and hard place, adjustments/renovation to/of an irrigation system that is currently inefficient can produce substantial water savings, however I would still recommend you give your landscape and soils a good evaluation to determine the best possible course of action.

DavidR
11-08-2007, 07:54 AM
That being said, if between a rock and hard place, adjustments/renovation to/of an irrigation system that is currently inefficient can produce substantial water savings, however I would still recommend you give your landscape and soils a good evaluation to determine the best possible course of action.


I have been trying to make adjustments where I could to the current system this year. I plan on adding a few MP Rotators next year in order to make my current system a bit more efficient. Also I have really cut back some watering times on many of the zones that don't see much full sun.

As for evaluating soils, I wouldn't even know where to start. Are there any recommendations you have or sites where I can research this myself?

DavidR
11-08-2007, 07:56 AM
Will need to hardwire in the WM weather monitor.

Where is the best place to mount the weather monitor? Also, which monitor do you recommend? Is the 20 worth the extra expense?

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-08-2007, 08:17 AM
Where is the best place to mount the weather monitor? Also, which monitor do you recommend? Is the 20 worth the extra expense?

Area open on all 4 sides for full rain collection potential. preferably on the east or north side of house. main thing is clear coverage. We buy the smaller monitor and have had no problems. Kiril is right on the landscape but even if that doesn't change eliminating sources of waste such as low head drainage, improper zoning, coverage issues, pressure issues, etc goes a long way on water conservation. The SL does a lot of multicycling and if the pipes drain after every cycle then a lot of water get wasted. The controller is the last part of my water conservation overhauls. Don't rule out the baseline down the road. I just think getting familiar with the WM SL needs to happen first.
I APPLAUD YOUR EFFORT.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-08-2007, 08:20 AM
I have been trying to make adjustments where I could to the current system this year. I plan on adding a few MP Rotators next year in order to make my current system a bit more efficient. Also I have really cut back some watering times on many of the zones that don't see much full sun.

As for evaluating soils, I wouldn't even know where to start. Are there any recommendations you have or sites where I can research this myself?

Is Va Tech your ag college? A search of Texas A&M or Auburn will give excellent info but the University most local is going to be your best option.

Kiril
11-08-2007, 08:30 AM
I have been trying to make adjustments where I could to the current system this year. I plan on adding a few MP Rotators next year in order to make my current system a bit more efficient. Also I have really cut back some watering times on many of the zones that don't see much full sun.

Changing nozzles will help if you have runoff or coverage problems, but the schedule adjustments are where your going to save the most water.

As for evaluating soils, I wouldn't even know where to start. Are there any recommendations you have or sites where I can research this myself?

What I mean by this is what condition are they in and what is the moisture content before and after watering. Does your irrigation water run off quickly? Are you allowing the soil to dry between waterings? What is the effective depth of your waterings? What is the desired depth of water applied?

DavidR
11-08-2007, 09:01 AM
Thanks for all the great information. VA Tech is the most local ag college. I will check out their site and see what information I can gather.

As for checking moisture content. I have been able to get rid of most of the run off that I was getting. Is there a device I could get to check how dry the soil is and the effective depth after a watering? Also, what would be my desired depth of water applied? Is there a general rule or is it defferent by area of the country?

Thanks again for all this great information.

Mike Leary
11-08-2007, 09:34 AM
As for checking moisture content. I have been able to get rid of most of the run off that I was getting. Is there a device I could get to check how dry the soil is and the effective depth after a watering?.

The standard of the industry is the Lincoln portable moisture meter, sells
for around $75.00. Get the 12" probe. Page 347. www.benmeadows.com

Kiril
11-08-2007, 09:40 PM
Also, what would be my desired depth of water applied? Is there a general rule or is it defferent by area of the country?

Your desired depth is the average effective root zone in the hydrozone your watering. For example, turf generally falls into the 6-10" range.

With respect to soils, you want to look for credible sites that provide information on how to improve structure and organic matter content. Your end goal should be creating a sustainable system. With that in mind some links.


Sustainable Landscapes & Habitats


Environmental Protection Agency:

GreenScapes Program (http://www.epa.gov/greenscapes/)

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service):

Improving Urban Landscapes (http://plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/NPMFactSheets/UrbanConservation/UrbanConservation-FactSheet-Aug2007.pdf)

University of Minnesota:

Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series (SULIS) (http://www.sustland.umn.edu/index.html)

Oregon State University Extension Service:

Plant Selection for Sustainable Landscapes (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1534/)

Seattle Public Utilities:

Ecologically Sound Lawn Care for the Pacific Northwest (http://www.seattle.gov/util/lawncare/LawnReport.htm)

Building Green:

Natural Landscaping: Native Plants and Planting Strategies for Green Development (http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/article.cfm?filename=140701a.xml&printable=yes)

National Wildlife Federation:

Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat (http://www.nwf.org/backyard/index.cfm)

University of Maine:

Principles for Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat (http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/7132.htm)

State of Illinois:

Creating Habitats and Homes For Illinois Wildlife (http://www.dnr.state.il.us/OREP/c2000/guide/habitats/)


Misc Related Information


NC State University:

Sustainable Practices for Vegetable Production in the South (http://www.ncsu.edu/sustainable/index.html)

University of California:

Soil Fertility Management for Organic Crops (http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/7249.pdf)

Soil Management and Soil Quality for Organic Crops (http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/7248.pdf)

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/)

Environmental Protection Agency:

EPA: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm)

University of Vermont SERA-17:

Referenced Publications From SERA-17 (http://www.sera17.ext.vt.edu/SERA_17_Publications.htm)

Colorado State University:

Xeriscaping: Creative Landscaping (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07228.html)

Organic Materials as Nitrogen Fertilizers (http://www.greenhouse.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/00546.pdf)

Texas A&M University:

Landscape Water Conservation...Xeriscape (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/xeriscape/xeriscape.html)

Duke University:

Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Studies (LTSEs) (http://ltse.env.duke.edu/user/1)

State of California:

Coyote Creek Watershed Management Plan. Green Infrastructure Site Design Guidelines (http://www.rmc.ca.gov/plans/coyote_creek/Appendix%20G%20-%20Green%20Infrastructure%20Site%20Design%20Guidelines.pdf)

ATTRA (http://attra.ncat.org/):

Sources of Organic Fertilizers and Amendments (http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/orgfert.php)

USDA-NAL (http://www.nal.usda.gov/):

Soil And Water Management (http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=2&tax_level=1&tax_subject=293)

Organic Gardening: A Guide to Resources
(http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/org_gar.htm)
USDA-SARE (http://www.sare.org/index.htm):

Building Soils for Better Crops, 2nd Edition (http://www.sare.org/publications/bsbc/bsbc.pdf)

Holistic Agriculture Library (http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html):

Factors Of Soil Formation. A System of Quantitative Pedology (http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010159.Jenny.pdf)

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-08-2007, 10:21 PM
You are an amazing resource junkie Kiril. guess I need to buy another of those storage dodads.