Irrigation is a common problem for greenhouse growers, from large-scale nursery operations to hobby gardening enthusiasts. Ensuring that your plants get the right amount of water—without overdoing it or underdoing it—requires attention to detail.
With precision of water application in mind, technology that improves efficiency of delivery and conservation of this resource has driven advancements in the field of greenhouse irrigation systems. These options are just a few options for growers with conservation in mind.
Drip Irrigation. These automated systems, once primarily used by large-scale growers, are now also favored by small- to medium-sized operations as well. Drip systems can cut water use in half, while also yielding superior crops (in terms of size and root length, among other characteristics) than traditional methods, like overhead sprinklers. Drip irrigation systems are widely considered to be affordable and easy to install.
Fertigation. Combining precise fertilizer application with efficient irrigation is a process known as fertigation. Not only does this help conserve fertilizer and water, but also can improve crop yield and quality. In a greenhouse setting, fertigation can increase production by almost 60 percent. Often set up in conjunction with a drip tape irrigation system, fertigation helps deliver nutrients more directly to plants’ roots.
Hydroponics. Prized for its efficiency and environmental friendliness, hydroponics is often considered the future of growing. Waste is at a minimum, as water is recycled and reused. A hydroponic system requires less than 10 percent of water to grow a similar crop in soil. And it takes 60 percent less fertilizer to nourish crops. In addition to these sustainability benefits, hydroponic systems yield larger, more nutritious produce.
Sensor-Based Irrigation. Sensor technology has led to even greater accuracy in water application. Using sensor-based systems allows growers to precisely measure irrigation timing and application rates. This has proven to reduce use of irrigation water, labor, energy and fertilizer. Some studies have shown that the use of sensor-based irrigation systems can accelerate production of container and greenhouse plants, which results in increased profitability.
Are your plants getting the water they need efficiently and effectively? We can help you make improvements to your irrigation system! Call us at 1-800-531-4769 to speak with one of our friendly representatives or visit our website www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com.