Asked March 27, 2013, 5:12 PM EDT

i have been in the turf irrigation industry for about 30 yrs. one half selling to contractors, the other half mostly as an irrigation tech. i have installed a few emitters to new plants in my day. met a few master gardeners ( m.g. ) also. whenever i ask the m.g. which size emitter ( gph ) to install at the plant they cannot give me an answer. if i ask which size they installed at the plant they tell me they don't know,just an emitter. so i guess my question is where do i get this info & why is there a "gap" between the m.g. & the sprinkler guy? i'm not trying to degrade the m.g., but it seems they should be able to tell me how much the plant needs. as the supplier i can put almost anything at the plant. emitters sizes run from .5gph to 24gph. i'm kinda frustrated. i know nothing about plants, just how to run water to them. please help!

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

Colorado Master Gardeners are not trained in irrigation management. This is beyond the scope of the basic training and beyond the scope of their volutneer work. You need to talk to Extension staff specializing in irrigation.

Colorado Master Gardener volunteers are avid gardeners who have had one college level course in horticulture. Details on irrigation design, management and maintenance are not included in the training due to 1) time restraints, and 2) CMG volutneers do not do irrigation design as part of their volutneer efforts. When it comes to irrigation design and management, CMGs are to refer clients to green industry personnel in irrigation management.

Your questions are simply beyond the expertise and role of these volutneers.

Also CMG volutneer services are only for the non-commerical home gardener. As volunteers with limited training, they do not consult or advise with professionals. As a professional, your level of expertise would likely be above those of a volunteer.

David Whiting
Extension Conusmer Horticulture Specialist and State CMG Coordinator
Dept. of Horticulture & LA
Colorado State University