Chapter 12

Greenhouse Irrigation Systems

(draft book excerpts)

Greenhouse crops are irrigated by means of applying water to the media surface through drip tubes or tapes, by hand using a hose, overhead sprinklers and booms or by applying water through the bottom of the container through sub-irrigation such as ebb-and-flood systems, or by using a combination of these delivery systems. Although there are many different types of greenhouse watering systems the most commonly used system is micro-irrigation or more commonly called drip irrigation. Irrigation scheduling is important in greenhouse crop production. Under-irrigation generally results in yield loss and low produce quality. Conversely, over irrigation increases the crop's susceptibility to diseases, energy cost for pumping, water loss, and environmental pollution due to nutrient leaching. The need for increased control over water availability and water quality while meeting environmental objectives has led many greenhouse production systems to adopt recycling irrigation runoff as a solution. In certain regions, the main concern may be a lack of quality water, while in other regions it may be protection of water supplies.

Click on the following topics for more information on greenhouse irrigation systems.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Types of Greenhouse Irrigation Systems
  • Drip Irrigation
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Boom Irrigation
  • Crop Use
  • Watering Methods
  • Nozzles
  • Methods of Boom Control
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Overhead Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Capillary Mat Irrigation
  • Capillary Mat Materials
  • Containers
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Ebb-and-Flow Irrigation
  • Benches
  • Media
  • Types of Containers
  • Irrigation Scheduling
  • Nutrient Solution Adjustments
  • Diseases
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Irrigation
  • Crop Use
  • Channel Design
  • Flow Rates
  • System Automation
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Flood Floor Irrigation
  • Flood Floor Designs
  • Floor Heating
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Trough Bench Irrigation
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Maintaining Irrigation Efficiency in Greenhouses
  • Irrigation Scheduling Techniques
  • Weighing Pots
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Measuring the Amount of Water Used for Greenhouse Irrigation
  • Improving Greenhouse Irrigation Efficiency
  • Know Your Crop Water Needs
  • Irrigation Design
  • Maintenance of Irrigation Systems
  • Pulse Irrigations
  • Grouping of Plants for Efficient Irrigation
  • Eliminate Off-Target Application
  • Automation
  • Water Recycling in Greenhouses
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Design of Water Recycling System
  • Rainwater Capture Systems
  • Disease Management
  • Managing Salinity
  • References