Drip-irrigation scheduling techniques for fresh-market tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) production were compared in three growing seasons (1989-91). Three regimes were evaluated: EPK [reference evapotranspiration (ETo, corrected Penman) × programmed crop coefficients], ECC (ET0 × a crop coefficient based on estimated percent canopy coverage), and SMD (irrigation at 20% available soil moisture depletion). EPK coefficients ranged from 0.2 (crop establishment) to 1.1 (full canopy development). Percent canopy coverage was estimated from average canopy width ÷ row width. Irrigation in the SMD treatment was initiated at -24 kPa soil matric tension, with recharge limited to 80% of daily ET0. The EPK and ECC regimes gave similar fresh fruit yields and size distributions in all years. With the EPK scheduling technique, there was no difference in crop response between daily irrigation and irrigation three times per week. In all seasons, ECC scheduling resulted in less total water applied than EPK scheduling and averaged 76% of seasonal ET0 vs. 86% for EPK. Irrigating at 20% SMD required an average of only 64% of seasonal ET0; marketable yield was equal to the other scheduling techniques in 1989 and 1991, but showed a modest yield reduction in 1990. Using an SMD regime to schedule early season irrigation and an ECC system to guide application from mid-season to harvest may be the most appropriate approach for maximizing water-use efficiency and crop productivity.
Christopher L. Browne and Thomas W. Cook
Knowledge of the current irrigation requirement of well-watered grass provides the basis for efficient scheduling of turf and landscape irrigation. A portable, miniature pan evaporimeter has been developed to conveniently provide this information for localized micro-climates. The underlying equation for the instrument is: IRnet = (Kpan • Epan - Kpan • R) where IRnet is the net irrigation requirement of healthy, non-stressed grass; Kpan is the pan coefficient for the instrument; Epan is accumulative pan evaporation; Kpan • Epan is “reference evapotranspiration”; and Kpan • R is a measure of effective rainfall received. This equation was established using turfgrass sites located throughout the Pacific Northwest over a 3-year period. The sites were in proximity to U.S. Class “A” pan evaporimeters, and were automatically irrigated using moisture sensors. Tests of the miniature evaporimeter against automated meteorological stations have determined the factors that influence its pan coefficient, and therefore its ultimate design.
Roger Kjelgren*, Thayne Montague and Richard Beeson
We investigated water use and a water needs index multiplier relative to reference evapotranspiration for a sweetgum cultivar (Liquidambar styraciflua `Moraine') in Logan, Utah, Lubbock, Texas, and Orlando Fla. Three individual trees with ≈80-mm trunk diameter, were potted in to large containers with organic media at each location. Sweetgum water use (Tsw) was measured over the season at each location with load cells and dataloggers, concurrent with measurement of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) from adjacent weather stations. Dawn-to-dusk stomatal conductance (Gs) was measured several times during the season at all locations. Trees were watered daily. At the end of the season, total tree leaf area was collected and used to normalize volumetric water use data to depth units. Tsw was highest in Florida, up to 4 mm/day, as was maximum daily Gs. Tsw only reached 2.5 mm/day in Texas and Utah due in part to stomatal sensitivity to high vapor pressure deficits that moderated transpiration. There was no relationship between Tsw and ETo at ETo levels above 4 mm/day in Texas and Utah, resulting in substantial scatter in the water needs index multiplier relative to ETo that centered on 0.3 in Texas and 0.4 in Utah. Tsw in Florida showed an upper boundary relationship with ETo, under which it varied considerably, resulting in a values relative to ETo centered on 0.6. During a partial dry down in Utah, morning Gs was unaffected while afternoon Gs declined progressively under mild water stress, resulting multiplier values of 0.15-2. The study shows that regional climate affects tree water use independent of effects measured in ETo, increasing the uncertainty of sweetgum water use estimated as a function of ETo.
D. Yvette Henson, Steven E. Newman and David E. Hartley
This study was conducted to evaluate the growth, visual quality, and stress response of 17 species of bedding plants and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) grown outdoors for 10 weeks during the summer of 2003 at three locations in Colorado. Plants were irrigated at 100% of the reference evapotranspiration (ET0) (amount required to maintain Kentucky bluegrass in an optimum condition) for 2 weeks followed by 8 weeks at five irrigation levels: 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% ET0. Begonia carrieri Hort. `Vodka', Lobelia erinus L. `Cobalt Blue', and Viola ×wittrockiana Gams. `Crown Gold' grew well with a minimum of 50% or more ET0 based on Kentucky bluegrass. Impatiens walleriana Hook. fil. `Tempo White' grew well only with 100% ET0. Antirrhinum majus L. `Sonnet Yellow', Dianthus L. `First Love', Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. `Carpet White', and Pelargonium ×hortorum L.H. Bailey performed well with 25% to 50% ET0. The species Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don `Peppermint Cooler', Rudbeckia hirta L. `Indian Summer', Senecio cineraria D.C. `Silver Dust', Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Yellow' and T. patula L. `Bonanza Gold', Zinnia angustifolia Kunth., and Salvia farinacea Benth. `Rhea Blue', which are adapted to midsummer heat and low water, performed well with 0% to 25% ET0. Species considered to be heat or drought tolerant—Petunia ×hybrida hort. ex. E. Vilm. `Merlin White' and Glandularia J.F. Gmel. `Imagination'—required little or no irrigation. The bedding plant species evaluated in this study that required 25% or less ET0 are well adapted for low-water landscape installations.
Geno A. Picchioni, Sharon A. Martinez, John G. Mexal and Dawn M. VanLeeuwen
generally decreasing with increasing wood percentage (data not shown). Table 1. Model-based estimates at each sampling value on cumulative evapotranspiration at harvest (kilograms per three pots) for ‘Carpino’ garden chrysanthemum subjected to five pecan
Richard C. Beeson*
ng production and in landscapes, woody plants are initially spaced apart to develop to desirable landscape quality. As plants grow and canopies begin to interact, canopies transform from individual isolated canopies to one large, closed canopy system. Changes in individual plant actual evapotranspiration (ETA) during the transitions between isolated and closed canopies are 30% on average. Such changes can have a substantial impact on supplemental irrigation requirements, both decreasing with closure and increasing with random removal of plants from a closed canopy. Data will be presented demonstrating changes in ETA as canopy closure progresses from isolated plants through 33%, 67%, and 100% canopy closure. Concurrent data from plants of marketable size grown in 3.8, 10.4, and 26.6 L containers were used to evaluate effects of canopy vertical thickness, and total canopy height, on the changes in ETA relative to degree of canopy closure. Contributions to ETA at 100% canopy closure and isolated plants from leaves at various depths within a canopy will be discussed.
R.C. Beeson Jr.
Three species of woody ornamentals, Viburnum odoratissimum Ker Gawl, Ligustrum japonicum Thunb., and Rhaphiolepis indica Lindl. were transplanted from 3.8-L into 11.4-L containers and grown for 6 months while irrigated with overhead sprinkler irrigation. Irrigation regimes imposed consisted of an 18-mm-daily control and irrigation to saturation based on 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% deficits in plant available water [management allowed deficits (MAD)]. Based on different evaluation methods, recommendations of 20%, 20%, and 40% MAD are supported for V. odoratissimum, L. japonica, and R. indica, respectively, for commercial production. Comparisons of plant growth rates, supplied water, and conversion of transpiration to shoot biomass are discussed among irrigation regimes within each species. Comparisons of cumulative actual evapotranspiration (ETA) to either shoot dry mass or canopy volume were linear and highly correlated. Results indicated there were minimum cumulative ETA volumes required for plants to obtain a specific size. This suggests that irrigation regimes that restrict daily ETA will prolong production times and may increase supplemental irrigation requirements. Thus the hypothesis that restrictive irrigation regimes will reduce irrigation requirements to produce container plants is false due to the strong relationship between cumulative ETA and plant size.
Thayne Montague and Lindsey Fox
Recent droughts and depleted water tables across many regions have elevated the necessity to irrigate field-grown (FG) nursery trees. At the same time, ordinances restricting nursery irrigation volume (often without regard to plant water requirements) have been implemented. This research investigated gas exchange and growth of two FG maple tree species (Acer × freemanii `Autumn Blaze' and A. truncatum) subjected to three reference evapotranspiration (ETo) irrigation regimes (100%, 60%, and 30% of ETo) in a semi-arid climate. During Spring 2002, nine containerized (11.3 L) trees of each species were field planted in a randomized block design. Each year trees were irrigated through a drip irrigation system. During the first growing season, all trees were irrigated at 100% ETo. Irrigation treatments began Spring of 2003. Gas exchange data (pre-dawn leaf water potential and midday stomatal conductance) were collected during the 2003 and 2004 growing seasons and growth data (shoot elongation, caliper increase, and leaf area) were collected at the end of each growing season. For each species, yearly data indicates irrigation regime influenced gas exchange and growth of these FG trees. However, it is interesting to note gas exchange and growth of these FG maple trees were not necessarily associated with trees receiving the high irrigation treatment. In addition, it appears the influence of irrigation volume on the growth of these FG trees is plant structure and species specific. Our data suggests irrigation of FG trees based upon local ETo measurements and soil surface root area may be a means to conserve irrigation water and produce FG trees with adequate growth. However, continued research on the influence of reduced irrigation on FG tree species is needed.
Paraskevi A. Londra, Angeliki T. Paraskevopoulou and Maria Psychoyou
sieve shaker for 3 min at 30 shakes per minute (n = 3). Throughout the experiment, to ensure uniform growth conditions of plants in both small and large pots, the substrate moisture, evapotranspiration, and O 2 levels were monitored. Substrate moisture
Stefania De Pascale, Luisa Dalla Costa, Simona Vallone, Giancarlo Barbieri and Albino Maggio
and, consequently, to reduce irrigation efficiency. It must be stressed that, at farm level, water is not only used to fulfil crop evapotranspiration (ET) requirements but also for other purposes, including the distribution of fertilizers and