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  • Author or Editor: Gary A. Clark x
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Proper design and installation are essential to provide a drip irrigation system that can be managed with minimal inputs and maximum profit. Because drip irrigation can apply precise amounts of water and chemicals, constraints associated with the plants, soil, water supply, and management must be considered in the design, installation, and management processes.

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The injection of chemicals into irrigation systems is discussed in terms of injection systems, concentration injections, bulk injections, quantity of chemicals to be injected, injection system calibration, and injection periods. Sufficient clean-water flush time should be scheduled to purge irrigation lines of injected chemicals unless it is desired to leave that particular chemical in the irrigation system for maintenance purposes. Chemical injection rates vary with desired chemical concentration in the irrigation water, concentration of the stock solution, volume of chemical to be injected, and duration of each injection. All injection systems should be calibrated and maintained in proper working order. This information is presented to assist irrigation system designers and operators with chemigation system design, scheduling, and management.

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`Crimson Sweet', `Jack of Hearts', `Mickylee', `Royal Jubliee', and `Sangria' watermelon transplants were set in raised, fumigated, 61-cm wide polyethylene-mulched beds with previously installed drip irrigation tubing (Roberts Ro-Drip) with 30-cm emitter spacing and 6.25 liter·min-1·100 m-1 nominal discharge in the spring 1992 season. After a 14-day crop establishment period, variable irrigation rates based on ratios of calculated Penman reference ET0 were used. For the remainder of the season, 96, 185, or 300 mm of irrigation were applied. Highest yields and average fruit weight were produced by `Royal Jubilee'. Highest soluble solids and frequency and severity of hollowheart were produced by `Jack of Hearts'. Except for `Royal Jubilee', there was a quadratic yield response to irrigation rate for the other varieties.

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