A sufficient quantity of high quality water is extremely important
for the production of nursery and greenhouse crops. Daily irrigation is needed which requires careful planning to ensure that operations have sufficient water to maintain adequate supplies for crop production.
Nurseries & Greenhouses
High quality water is needed for a variety of reasons, including the prevention of plugging nozzles, staining of foliage and containers, excessively high substrate salt levels, and improper substrate pH. Water supplies containing iron and bicarbonates frequently require pre-treatment before use. Sediment must be filtered out of water supplies to prevent wear and clogging of irrigation systems. To improve the quality of recycled water, nurseries may use a variety of landscape features to filter and direct movement of runoff to collection basins. Various disinfection practices may be installed at nurseries that recycle irrigation water.
Greenhouse production uses large volume of water for irrigation and cooling. It is estimated to be around 8,000 gallons of water per acre per day during the summer months.
Most nursery crops grown in 1 to 5 gallon containers are irrigated with overhead sprinklers, which with proper performance estimates to approximately 12,000 gallons per acre per day.
Many wholesale nurseries capture and recycle irrigation water runoff to provide enough water for their container crops. However, recycled irrigation supplies can be a source of pathogenic fungal species and possible other diseases. Recycled water also contains nutrients that support the growth of microorganisms. Therefore, many nurseries have installed irrigation water disinfection systems to remove algae, iron bacteria, and other organisms that can create problems for the plants or the irrigation system. The most common re chlorination systems.