Rocky Mountain Gardening forum: What to do about drip systems in the winter?

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Imagebsavage
Feb 11, 2010 3:09 PM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
I am planning on installing a drip system this spring. I had extensive drip systems in AZ when I lived there, but this is a first for me where it gets very cold all winter. Do you have to blow out the lines in the fall and winterize? I'm worried about antifreeze getting into the soil if I have to use it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Brenda
Penny
Feb 12, 2010 2:48 PM CST
Brenda, I don't have a drip system but I believe they must be turned off and drained in the winter or lines fill with ice, expand and break. Perhaps the technology has improved. I would talk to someone who sells or installs them in your area.
Jude
Feb 12, 2010 4:00 PM CST
My understanding is to disconnect from the water, drain and/or blow out in fall. No antifreeze or the like needed. I was told the soaker hoses don't need this as they are so porous (and are all I have at the moment).
Imagebsavage
Feb 12, 2010 11:14 PM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Thanks for the insight and advice! I'm hoping blowing them out with an air compressor is enough... because I do not want antifreeze in my gardens! So much to learn in a new climate...
Jude
Feb 22, 2010 4:31 AM CST
We disconnect, drain and blow out our swamp cooler water line every fall and it does fine exposed out on the north side of the house & roof. I would imagine that an irrigation system in or on the ground should be fine with this treatment too.
Imagebsavage
Feb 22, 2010 1:42 PM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Thanks again!
acpawlek
Mar 11, 2010 11:51 AM CST
Put a valve at the end to easily flush it out, and the siphon effect is enough. p.s. thanks for starting the cubit.
Imagebsavage
Mar 11, 2010 6:00 PM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Thanks, acpawlek! Please feel free to start some conversations here! Where are you located? What gardening challenges do you face? What have you learned? Help! Crying
Imagetabby
May 26, 2011 2:55 PM CST
Name: tabby
denver, colorado
I know this is an old thread, but I just found it so I'll talk a bit about my 24 year old drip system. My drip system is huge - the main pipe goes around almost the entire acre and has thousands of drippers and micro sprayers on it. There are several drain valves located at the low points of the main pipe which are opened up and left open to drain all winter.
Imagebsavage
Jun 1, 2011 1:29 PM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Hi Tabby, thanks for your input. I just posted a message to you on the Rocky Mountain Forum. I installed my drip system last summer, and it made it through the winter just fine. I'd love to see some pics of your place... we used to have over 50 roses when we lived in AZ. We bought two roses here last year, and surprisingly they did not make it through the winter. The folks at our local nursery, where we bought them (and they are a super family owned nursery with excellent products) said that they themselves lost 7 thirteen year old roses that they had at their home this year. Apparently, the -20 degree temps were to blame.

Brenda
Imagetabby
Jun 1, 2011 5:12 PM CST
Name: tabby
denver, colorado
Hi Brenda,
I don't think I lost any roses, but they cane damage was the worst I've ever seen. I have a lot of hardy old garden roses and some of them died to the ground, which they'd never done before. I winter watered them, but I don't think it was enough.

On the other hand, the irises are spectacular right now.
Imagebsavage
Jun 2, 2011 12:30 AM CST
Name: Brenda
Dolores, Colorado
Pictures, please!!
Imagetabby
Jun 2, 2011 10:09 AM CST
Name: tabby
denver, colorado
The new iris pictures are still in the camera, but here's some from previous years:
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v228/cnetter/iris/

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