28 Aug 2018
Identifying Opportunities to Promote Water Conservation Practices among Nursery and Greenhouse Growers
Warner, L.A., Lamm, A.J., Beattie, P., Fisher, P.R. (University of Florida), and S.A. White (Clemson University)
In this study we assessed knowledge level of U.S. greenhouse and nursery growers about eight water conservation technologies and examined the rate at which growers had adopted and continued their use. Overall, greater levels of knowledge corresponded to both greater adoption and continued use of a technology. Other factors, such as economic cost and technical feasibility are undoubtedly important. Findings highlight an opportunity to focus educational programs on the systems-based strategies that are beneficial to growers, but growers are least knowledgeable about to increase adoption of effective water conservation methods that currently have low levels of grower implementation.
HortScience 2018 Warner et al (363 KB)
7 Aug 2018
Oxygenation of Irrigation Water during Propagation and Container Production of Bedding Plants
Yafuso, E.J., and P. Fisher (University of Florida)
Research at the University of Florida focused on evaluating whether oxygenation of irrigation water affected plant growth and substrate dissolved oxygen (DO) levels during mist propagation of unrooted cuttings and subsequent growth in containers. There were no measured differences in root growth when ambient tap or oxygenated water was used during mist propagation of calibrachoa or lobelia. Water that passed through fine mist nozzles increased the droplet surface area decreasing DO in super-saturated water and increased DO in ambient tap water to 100% DO saturation (8.7 ppm). Continued growth of three bedding plants were irrigated with nutrient supplemented water at ambient or oxygenated DO levels when pots dried to 45% of container capacity resulted in similar growth. Peat-based substrate contains high porosity facilitating oxygen supply to roots through air-filled pores. Read on to learn the key findings.
HortScience 2017 Yafuso and Fisher (306 KB)
26 Jun 2018
A Cost Analysis for Using Recycled Irrigation Runoff Water in Container Nursery Production: A Southern California Nursery Case Study
Pitton, B.J.L., Haver, D.L., Oki, L.R. (UC Davis), Hall, C.R. (Texas A&M), and S.A. White (Clemson University)
Recycling irrigation runoff water reduced costs for a southern California container plant nursery originally using expensive high-quality water. Water cost for municipal supplied water was $2.26 to $2.91 per 1000 gallons. Water capturing and recycling system construction and infrastructure accounted for a large portion of recycled water cost resulting in $0.92 to $1.21 per 1000 gallons. However, rebates and a grant reduced total and per volume recycled water cost to $0.43 and $0.53 per 1000 gallons. Recycled water is a viable alternative to many expensive water sources and public funds facilitate adoption of recycled water for irrigation.