828 PB 308 IMPROVED WATER USE EFFICIENCY WITH MODIFIED CONTAINERS

in HortScience

Improved water use efficiency exists for plants grown in modified containers to minimize leaching and reduce irrigation frequency which subsequently reduces NO3-N leachate. Salvia splendens `Bonfire' and Impatiens wallerana `Pink' (super elfin hybrid) were potted in ProMix BX medium (Premier Brands, Inc., Stamford, CT) into nine container styles with modified drainage holes to determine leachate volume and quantify NO3-N leached. Three styles had four drainage holes on the container side with hole diameters of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.9 cm, respectively; three styles had four drainage holes on the container side and one drainage hole in the bottom center with hole diameters of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.9 cm, respectively; and three styles had one drainage hole in the bottom center with hole diameters of 0.5, 1.6, and 1.9 cm, respectively. Plants were hand watered when an individual container's medium reached 80% of container capacity. Leachate volume, irrigation frequency, and leachate NO3-N was reduced as drainage size hole decreased in size and number. Plant quality was similar among container modifications.

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