Is your irrigation system ready?

By Alistair March 18, 2023 08:22

Summer may be several weeks away but irrigation expert John Kidson recommends starting your system as early as possible, as this should help detect issues that can be resolved in a timely manner.

This winter has felt colder than in recent years and the result is that some clubs have reported ball valves cracking on irrigation items left in use, such as washdown bays and sprayer setups. It does make me wonder what’s ahead for everyone this spring.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been a greenkeeper but if I was back in that position I would be very keen to start the irrigation system early on. This will help allow for unknown issues which I would predict will be high this season.

Pre-spring checklist

● Visual check around any water storage for any signs of damage.

● Clear any debris or plant growth from around any pump houses, lakes, tanks and anywhere an irrigation engineer or your own team would require gaining access for the start up.

● Visual inspection of the inside and outside of the pump house.

● Does the pump house only have one key? Now would be a good time to get another one cut.

● Depending on how or if your irrigation system has been drained down it would be a great time to test the cable network. Knowing you have 30 percent of your site failing now is far better than in two months’ time!

● Is your hand watering equipment in working order?

● I’m sure there are items within the irrigation toolbox which could enjoy a drop of oil.

● Stock check of the common items if you undertake your own works such as grease pods, sprinklers per type, solenoid valves and valve boxes.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting more training courses and lectures. This gives me a great opportunity to speak to a vast amount of people and their insight into irrigation, whether it’s sports golf, or landscape.

A commonly asked question is regarding draining down and starting up an irrigation system. As I’ve mentioned above, I highly recommend starting your irrigation systems early in this season. Don’t leave it to the last minute – or at least have a date booked in for your startup.

Follow John on Twitter @JKIrrigation

This is his sixth article on irrigation for GreenKeeping. He has previously written on irrigation controllers (part one), common questions regarding water storage and harvesting (part two), making an irrigation action plan (part three), winter work (part four) and commonly used irrigation products and terminologies (part five)


By Alistair March 18, 2023 08:22

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