Drip irrigation is growing on landscaped and maintained sites because of stricter landscape water use rules and because of innovations in drip products. Drip, obviously, will not replace overhead irrigation on most sites, especially as suppliers make these systems evermore efficient. Rather, consider drip as another of the many options to can call upon to meet the needs of turfgrass, trees and ornamentals in specific landscape settings.
Where to you go to learn more about surface drip irrigation? Start with the Irrigation Association (www.irrigation.org). The IA offers education resources, including self-study opportunities, books, classroom resources and technical papers. The technical papers are free to download by IA members or by subscription.
The IA also offers a range of irrigation certifications, including one for Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor-Drip. There’s also an incredible amount of free information on the Internet from major irrigation suppliers such as DIG Corp., Hunter Industries, NDS, Inc., Netafim, Rain Bird and Toro Irrigation, among others. They share a wealth of information, not only about their particular products but about specifying, designing, installing and maintaining low-volume subsurface systems. Some even offer hands-on training.
Distributors serving the green industry can be excellent sources of information and, in some cases, training, too. Check with your local Ewing Irrigation, Horizon, John Deere Landscapes or other nearby industry suppliers. If they don’t have a knowledgeable irrigation expert on the staff, they can usually hook you up with one.