Container Spacing Increases Container Capture of overhead Irrigation as Application Efficiency Declines

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Univ. of Florida, Central Florida Research and Education Center, Sanford, FL 32771
  • | 2 2Univ. of Florida, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Gainesville, FL 32611

Ligustrum japonicum, Rhododendron indica `Southern Charm' and Viburnum odoratissimum in 10-L containers were placed in a square grid pattern and overhead irrigated using impact sprinklers (30.3 L/min). Plants were irrigated with 12.5 mm with containers touching and, at 5 cm spacings, up to 50 cm between containers. Irrigation water reaching container surfaces (percent capture) increased for all species as container spacing increased. However, the increase in percent capture did not increase irrigation application efficiency because the percent of production area covered by the containers declined as spacing increased. Application efficiency declined with each increase in spacing to a low of 7%. The effects of intraand inter-canopy interference are discussed.