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(relative or absolute) or soil water tension. Another common indirect method uses estimates of crop evapotranspiration (ET c ). Direct, plant-based irrigation management methods provide the irrigator with direct knowledge of the plant’s hydration state or

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horticulturally beneficial responses at mild to moderate levels of water stress ( Lampinen et al., 1995 , 2001 , 2004 ), and hence we believe that this plant-based approach to irrigation scheduling will allow us to recommend a strategy of RDI that will appeal to

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are not responsive to environmental or plant-based demands and this can lead to over irrigation ( Fare, 2014 ). However, potential restrictions on irrigation and regulations on water quality necessitate that the green industry find alternative ways to

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An irrigation system was developed to water container-grown ornamental plants so that soil moisture tensions could be continuously monitored and controlled. Operation of such a system has been shown to significantly reduce the amount of water which must be applied to produce high-quality potted chrysanthemums. This presentation will focus on modification of drip irrigation systems in commercial production environments to irrigate based on soil moisture tension. High-quality plants were produced in commercial trials with such systems. In all cases significant economic savings due to reduced fertilizer and water application were observed. Furthermore, the amounts of irrigation water run-off were significantly lower than in systems where irrigation was controlled manually or with timers.

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yields. Kumar et al. (2007b) reported a progressive increase in onion plant biomass (dry weight basis) with increasing irrigation levels from 60% to 120% ETc. In their study, irrigation was applied with a microsprinkler system based on cumulative pan

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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.

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Abstract

An easy method to estimate water requirements for poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Kl.) production with practical applications to commercial operations was developed to promote water conservation. A water-requirement prediction equation (P ≥ 0.01, R 2 = 0.78) that used pan evaporation along with plant-canopy height and width as input variables was generated. Equation verification was carried out by comparing plant quality of crops irrigated according to the generated water-requirement prediction equation to crops irrigated “on-demand” or with capillary-mat irrigation. Plants irrigated with the prediction equation were smaller than plants grown with capillary mat, but plant quality ratings for ‘Annette Hegg Diva’ and ‘Dark Red Annette Hegg’ were not significantly different. ‘Gutbier V-10 Amy’ plants grown with irrigation on-demand were of higher quality than plants grown using either the capillary mat or the prediction equation. Applied water was significantly lower for plants irrigated with the prediction equation than would normally be applied in a commercial operation using a conservative fixed daily irrigation rate.

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The uptake of water and nutrient in potted plants is greatly affected by irrigation conditions, and it influences the plant growth. This study aimed to examine the correlations between basic environmental parameters and plant growth in potted plants (kalanchoe) and to develop the models for adequate irrigation control. Growth chambers were developed for the experiments, and four levels of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) were treated by using different numbers of shading films and lamps. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana cv. New Alter, grown in the nutrient-flow wick culture (NFW) system, was used. The 7-cm pots were filled with a 7:3 mixture of peat moss and perlite medium (v/v). The initial water content was set at about 26%. A total of 150 pots and plants with different growth stage were prepared for 4 weeks. A wick [12 × 1 cm (L × W)] was used in each pot. Leaf areas of plants and surface areas of the medium were analyzed by a plant image analysis system. For measuring the water losses of plants and pots during the growth stage, the initial water content of the substrates was maintained at about 55%. Water losses were measured at 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 hours for all experiment periods by using an electron balance. Two models were developed for estimating water losses by evapotranspiration and water intake by water absorption. Finally, a model for estimating water content in the medium was tried. Growth and environment parameters showed high correlations with transpiration and evaporation, respectively. There was an interactive effect of VPD and PPF on the change of evapotranspiration. The amount of absorption was increased by time and decreased with increase of initial water content.

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that the plant canopy is reducing irrigation capture and irrigation amounts would need to be increased accordingly. Functions for estimating CF based on plant size, container size and spacing, and the plant species’ water-capturing ability were reported

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periodically adjusting irrigation volume based on plant or substrate visual appearance ( van Iersel et al., 2013 ). Overhead irrigation generally has an application efficiency (amount of water retained in the container/total water applied) of about 25% to 37

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