By Howard Voland
Drip irrigation systems can appear intimidating and confusing both to purchase and to install. But the rewards are significant because they save time, reduce water usage, and reduce the spread of fungal plant diseases, especially in the vegetable garden.
Master Gardener Jeff Thompson has spent years testing and trying out various drip irrigation systems, both sold locally and available by catalogue, and has put together a terrific hands-on workshop.
In two-and-a-half hours, Thompson explains the pros and cons of various systems and then shows participants how to design and put together a simple, usable drip irrigation system.
Participants get to work with all the parts, including putting together a head assembly, adding the transport line, punching holes, and adding delivery lines and emitters. They also learn where to get the best prices and what they don’t need to buy.
Thompson also shares the little tricks that save time, effort and money. For example, he advises reading the fine print on the package—that “hose thread” is not the same as “pipe thread,” although identical parts except for threading may be side-by-side in a store display and look virtually identical but not be compatible.
Retail outlets also carry incompatible systems with different diameter transport lines and one is more efficient than the other. Thompson explains why and what to look for. He also explains that no one source or retail outlet will provide everything needed for the most efficient and least expensive system.
Thompson’s Drip Irrigation workshops are being offered six times this year through WSU-Snohomish County Extension on Friday, May. 10, Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, July 11 at 1 p.m. or at 6 p.m. at the Extension Education Building, 600 – 128th St. S.E., at McCollum Park in South Everett.
The cost is only $20, or $25 for a couple, and includes an extensive reference handout. To register, call Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039 or download the brochure at
Howard Voland draws upon sixty years of playing in Snohomish County dirt, and, the opinions expressed here are his alone. You can reach him through www.ravenwriters.com.