Learn how to develop and maintain an efficient irrigation system
- Understand garden Irrigation Systems:
- Learn about watering systems and equipment
- Learn to irrigate plants effectively and efficiently.
This is a ten lesson course that covers the design, installation, maintenance, operation and evaluation of simple irrigation systems. This course is similar to BHT304 and BAG213, but focuses on irrigation for parks, home gardens, and other ornamental horticulture areas
Water is essential to plant growth and is often the major limitation to productivity. However, depending on the climate, the value of the plant, the value of the land and its suitability for irrigation, the cost, reliability and quality of the water supply, irrigation may or may not be possible or feasible.
The main objective of irrigation schemes or systems is to produce a particular desired pattern of plant growth. Maximum vegetative growth does not necessarily correspond to maximum yield of the part of the plant desired e.g. fruit, nuts, or roots.
In addition, achieving maximum yield may require inefficient use of available resources, whether it is land, water, equipment, or labour. 'Optimum yield' is usually the desired objective.
This has been defined as the yield at which the benefit/cost ratio is at maximum, although even this may be hard to achieve if any of the resources required for the irrigation system e.g. land, water, or equipment is limited. Therefore, it is important to clearly define the purpose or desired outcome of an irrigation system.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Introduction to Irrigation
Soil Characteristics & Problems
Estimating Plant Needs & Irrigation Scheduling
Types of Irrigation Systems
Pumps & Filters
Selecting the Right System for a Plant
Design & Operation of Systems.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Explain the significance of soil in irrigation.
Explain how to determine when to irrigate in a small scale situation.
Manage irrigation in a given situation.
Explain the significance of different aspects of moving water including: drainage, pumps, filters, storage and recirculation.
Select an appropriate irrigation system for a given situation.
Explain the principles of design for a simple irrigation system.
Design a simple irrigation system.
Oversee the installation of an irrigation system.
Irrigation can be used to produce outcomes in terms of crop production. Irrigation schemes may also have other outcomes. Large-scale schemes may have an impact on human settlement patterns, causing local migrations of labour to or from irrigated areas with subsequent changes in the availability and cost of housing and services. Land prices may also be severely affected as land use patterns change. Impoundment of rivers and streams into dams and lakes can result in major environmental changes (such as changes to river characteristics and to flora and fauna populations) in areas both adjacent and far removed from those features. Small scale, even down to individual garden size systems, can still cause far-reaching changes. For example, the base flow component (year-round flow) of many urban streams derives almost entirely from home irrigation of gardens. If this was to stop these streams would cease flowing for much of the year. In addition, much of the excess water from irrigation systems that flow to streams, rivers and lakes is high in chemicals leached out of gardens or other crop areas. These chemicals, particularly nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilisers and pesticides, can cause major changes in vegetation and animal populations in and adjacent to water bodies.
“Everyone needs to know about irrigation if they are working in gardens or nurseries, so this course will be really helpful for learning about different irrigation methods and how to establishing them.”- Tracey Morris Dip.Hort., Cert.Hort., Cert III Organic Farming, ACS Tutor.
How Can This Course Help Me?
Everyone knows that plants need water but more plants die from being over-watered than under-watered. Understanding the water needs of plants is extremely important and that is addressed in this course. The other important aspect of irrigation is to know what the different options for watering plants are, and that is also addressed here. This course will help students work out watering schedules and choose appropriate irrigation systems to best meet plant needs.
This course is going to be of value to people working in:
- Parks & gardens
- Garden maintenance
- Green keeping & turf care
- Garden centres