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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Master Gardeners to demonstrate drip irrigation at Wickford Lumber Apr. 24

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 16, 2004 -- Master Gardeners from the University of Rhode Island will be at Wickford Lumber in North Kingstown on Saturday April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to demonstrate how homeowners and gardeners can conserve water in their home landscapes by using drip irrigation.

According to Rudi Hempe, president of the URI Master Gardener Association, drip irrigation is a system that applies water directly to the roots and foliage of plants and trees using small plastic devices that provide steady drips, sprays or mists. Water is supplied to the devices via small tubes hooked to a main plastic feeder line that includes a filter and pressure-reducing valve. The systems are unobtrusive and can be hidden under a layer of mulch.

Initially developed for growing plants in Middle East deserts where water is scarce, drip irrigation systems save water by applying water directly to plants in a way that minimizes evaporation.

Drip irrigation is one focus of the URI Healthy Landscapes Program, which aims to encourage water conservation and groundwater protection in Rhode Island.

Wickford Lumber is located at 434 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown.

For more information about drip irrigation or the demonstration, call the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center at 401-874-2900.