Irrigation efficiency in nurseries: towards a more sustainable approach
Aided by an abundance of research, nursery container production has matured significantly over the years, resulting in ever-increasing categories and size ranges of plants grown in containers. While we have also seen corresponding improvements in irrigation technologies in that same timeframe however, the complexity of containerized nursery production means that nursery growers in Canada continue to rely on inefficient overhead irrigation practices.
The constant movement of pots, necessitated by a multitude of factors ranging from decreased inventory during the sales season to winter storage requirements, adds to the already higher costs associated with more efficient drip irrigation technologies. Additionally, the lack of automation typically available for overhead systems means that watering decisions are based primarily on timed irrigation intervals and visual clues to plan irrigation scheduling. The result can be either under or over watering, both of which can have detrimental impacts on plant growth and quality. More recently, reliable ...