C.J. Phene, K.R. Davis, R.B. Hutmacher, R.L. McCormick
Subsurface drip irrigation is defined as the uniform application of small quantities of water at frequent intervals below the soil surface from discrete emission points or line sources. In the past, clogging roots, precipitation of salts and difficulties in inspection and repair of laterals have limited the widespread adoption of subsurface drip irrigation. The quality of drip irrigation equipment, system design, engineering, and management have progressed significantly so that the advantages now outweigh the limitations.

We have successfully operated several subsurface drip irrigation systems with several crops since 1981 and we have recognized five major advantages of subsurface drip lateral installation when compared to surface installation:

(1) Permanent subsurface drip installation requires less yearly labor than surface drip installation and increases the life expectancy of the system; (2) Cropping with a dry soil surface has the potential to reduce the occurrence of soil borne diseases and help control weed infestation; (3) Dry soil in the furrows enhances trafficability and reduces soil compaction; (4) Water and nutrients are used more efficiently; and (5) Yields and certain quality components are often significantly improved.

Phene, C.J., Davis, K.R., Hutmacher, R.B. and McCormick, R.L. (1987). ADVANTAGES OF SUBSURFACE IRRIGATION FOR PROCESSING TOMATOES. Acta Hortic. 200, 101-114
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1987.200.9

Acta Horticulturae