Applying only the amount of water needed by a plant, when it needs it, is a simple concept that can conserve water and reduce runoff. Simple, that is, when managing a single crop that covers an extensive area under several irrigation zones. Container production nurseries grow a large number of plants and each irrigation zone usually has a diverse grouping of taxa in various stages of development. In 1989, a nursery crop project at Oregon State University began to investigate irrigation scheduling for container-grown woody landscape plants. Crop coefficients (kc), used to adjust irrigation to specific production practices and crop characteristics, vary greatly for woody landscape plants. Woody plant kc values range from <1.0 to >5.0 during the production cycle. Plant taxa, growth stage, spacing, and pruning significantly influence kc of container-grown plants. Ilex crenata `Green Island' showed a reduction in water use (40%) immediately after pruning, but had similar kc values 60 days later. Grouping plants with similar kc values under the same irrigation zone is a very difficult task for a production nursery. It might be more practical to schedule irrigation for daily evapotranspiration, avoid placing new plantings next to mature crops, and only separate-out plants with very high or very low crop water requirements.
Daniel I. Leskovar*, Darrin J. Moore, Libbie Johnson, Julio Loaiza, and Giovanni Piccinni
Regulations restricting water use, competition for water with large urban sector, coupled with extreme high temperatures have placed a large strain on farming areas in south Texas. In addition, consumer demand for healthy vegetables has increased. The objective of this work was to determine yield and fruit quality to deficit irrigation rates and irrigation systems on poblano pepper cv. Tiburon. In 2002, an experiment was conducted at the TAES-Uvalde with a Center pivot using three irrigation rates, 100%, 80%, and 60% evapotranspiration rates (ETc). Transplants were established on beds 1.0 m apart with plants within rows 45 cm apart. In 2003, we compared production efficiency of four irrigation systems in a urban-rural environment near San Antonio. Beds were 0.9 m (single-row) or 1.8 m (double-row) between centers. Irrigation systems were: 1) furrow irrigation with one line/single beds, 2) subsurface drip (SDI)-no mulch, with one line/single bed, 3) SDI-no mulch, with two lines/double bed, and 4) SDI-white mulch with two lines/double bed. In 2002, summer ratooning of the spring-planted crop under deficit irrigation (<100% ETc) allowed a fall crop with a 2.0 fold yield increase, larger fruit size (greater than 10 cm length) and significantly lower defects caused by sunburn or blossom end rot compared to summer production. In 2003, SDI-white mulch had a 2.4-fold yield increase and 760 mm water savings compared to furrow. Fruit vitamin C content was not affected by irrigation, however, mature red fruits had a 3.6 fold increase compared to mature green fruits. Combining deficit irrigation with ratooning we were able to produce marketable poblano fruits. Additional water savings and increased yield were demonstrated by SDI technology.
Jane E. Spinti, Rolston St. Hilaire, and Dawn VanLeeuwen
We surveyed homeowners with residential landscapes in Las Cruces, N.M., to determine design features participants valued in their landscapes, their attitudes toward the landscape use of desert plants and opinions on factors that would encourage respondents to reduce landscape water use. We also determined whether the willingness to use desert plants in their landscapes related to the length of residency in the southwestern United States. At least 98% of respondents landscaped to enhance the appearance of their home and increase their property value. About half (50.6%) of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that the main reason to landscape was to display their landscape preferences. Many participants indicated they would use desert plants to landscape their front yard (80.3%) and back yard (56.3%), but relatively lower percentages of participants actually had desert landscapes in their front yard and back yard. Regardless of their property value, respondents were more likely to use desert plants in their backyard the shorter their stay in the desert. Data revealed that participants rank water shortages as the factor that would most likely cause them to reduce the amount of water they applied to their landscapes. We conclude that homeowners report willingness to use desert plants but desert-type landscapes are not a widespread feature of managed residential landscapes. Furthermore, water shortages and the length of time respondents spent in a desert environment would most likely influence water use in their landscapes.
Anthony S. Davis, Matthew M. Aghai, Jeremiah R. Pinto, and Kent G. Apostol
water conservation is of great concern. A variety of agronomic and forest tree species showing similar or better plant growth with subirrigation than overhead irrigation highlights the promise of this technique for tree seedling production ( Ahmed et al
Dale J. Bremer, Steven J. Keeley, and Abigail Jager
which irrigation amounts are not adjusted based on lawn requirements ( Bremer et al., 2012 ). Our findings, along with those of Bremer et al. (2012) , provide support for focusing educational programming on water conservation toward homeowners of higher
Marco Schiavon, Brent D. Barnes, David A. Shaw, J. Michael Henry, and James H. Baird
://socalwatersmart.com/index.php/qualifyingproducts/turfremoval > Meyer, J.L. Gibeault, V.A. Youngner, V.B. 1985 Irrigation of turfgrass below replacement of evapotranspiration as a means of water conservation: Determining crop coefficient of turfgrasses, p. 357–364. In: F. Lemaire (ed.). Proc. 5th Intl. Turfgrass Res
Malik G. Al-Ajlouni, Dawn M. VanLeeuwen, and Rolston St. Hilaire
In desert communities, residents aspire to balance their preferred landscape with the need for water conservation ( Spinti et al., 2004 ). This balance is a challenge for homeowners who desire to select their favorite landscape, but do not know the
G. J. Hochmuth, S. J. Locascio, T.E. Crocker, C.D. Stanley, G.A. Clark, and L.R Parsons
The Florida horticulture industry (vegetables, ornamentals, citrus, and deciduous fruit), valued at $4.5 billion, has widely adopted microirrigation techniques to use water and fertilizer more efficiently. A broad array of microirrigation systems is available, and benefits of microirrigation go beyond water conservation. The potential for more-efficient agricultural chemical (pesticides and fertilizer) application is especially important in today's environmentally conscious society. Microirrigation is a tool providing growers with the power to better manage costly inputs, minimize environmental impact, and still produce high-quality products at a profit.
Ursula K. Schuch, Jack J. Kelly, and Trent Teegerstrom
mats as long as the mat is on a level surface. Capillary mats can provide automated irrigation to different size plants, help with water conservation, and free retail nursery personnel from hand watering. Disadvantages of capillary mats include the
Maria C. Morera, Paul F. Monaghan, Michael D. Dukes, Ondine Wells, and Stacia L. Davis
; Pittenger et al., 2004 ; St. Hilaire et al., 2008 ). McCready et al. (2009) note “proper installation (e.g., correct location and set point selection for sensor) and programming are essential to balancing water conservation and acceptable turf quality