HIGH EFFICIENCY IRRIGATION SYSTEMS FOR CONTAINERIZED PLANT PRODUCTION
Irrigation is often excessive in containerized plant production and this leads to water loss and environmental pollution due to leaching from containers. Improve-ments in irrigation efficiency can reduce the water use and run off. The aim of this trial was to compare two different nursery management systems: overleaf irrigation with static sprinklers and sub-irrigation performed using a high water retention mat (Aquamat®). Three cultivars of Rosa hybrid (Bad Birnbach, Innocentia and Mainaufeuer) were used for the experiment. Plants were potted in 1.5-L containers in May 2009 and a controlled-release fertilizer was added to the substrate. Irrigation frequency was controlled by tensiometers. Water consumption for each nursery was recorded weekly during the trial while both shoot and root biomass were measured at the end of the experiment. In addition, chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll leaf content were collected in August during the warmest period of summer. Leaf and medium nutrient content was analyzed at the end of the growing season in R. hybrid Innocentia. The sub-irrigation system allowed 77% of water saving if compared to the traditional system. Shoot biomass was influenced by cultivar susceptibility to black spot disease. Tested rose cultivars grown with sub-irrigation system showed a lower stress during the summer and higher leaf chlorophyll content in comparison with overleaf irrigation system. N, P and K leaf content was higher where the retention mat was used, while no differences were observed in N, P and K substrate content.
Frangi, P., Amoroso, G., Piatti , R. and Faoro, M. (2011). HIGH EFFICIENCY IRRIGATION SYSTEMS FOR CONTAINERIZED PLANT PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 922, 157-161
chlorophyll fluorescence, irrigation efficiency, nutrient content, Rosa hybrid, tensiometer