As one evaluates the effectiveness of his or her greenhouse, there are a number of areas to consider. In addition to making choices about what type of material to use in greenhouse construction and how to ventilate or heat the building, one must also take into account their greenhouse irrigation system.
Commonly most individuals or businesses will hand water their plants. While this may be effective on a very small scale, medium to large greenhouse owners may not realize the money and time they are wasting by using this outdated system of watering especially for those attempting to compete on a commercial level.
Paying employees to drag watering hoses from plant to plant is the obvious waste of resources; however, less obvious is the quality of manual watering. Many employees will unintentionally over water some plants while others will long for more moisture. This may be due to interruptions from customers or accidental skipping of plants when the phone rings. Regardless of the reason, these avoidable mistakes can lead to costly loss of plants and increased expenses on the bottom line.
Many times, simply installing a reliable greenhouse irrigation system and using staff in more productive ways will not only decreases loss it can increase overall income.
Unlike anything else in life, the best path to an efficient greenhouse irrigation system is through proper planning and design. Most systems take little effort to install and will amazingly decrease the time and cost of watering as apposed to hand watering. As one begins to look at various options available in irrigation systems, one must first evaluate the type of plants needing watering, the size of plants as well as the size of the operation. Normally each system will include a variety of watering options like drip, sprinklers and/or misters.
A great option for plants that come in one to three gallon containers is the drip system. For larger containers one will want to consider a greenhouse irrigation system that incorporates the use of a spray system to supply water to the entire area of the container.
Plants that are contained within flats or hanging baskets benefit the best from overhead sprinklers or misters. As it is easy to see, most agree that the perfect irrigation system for most greenhouses is a choreographed mix of watering types. These systems are normally set up in zones and are programmed to water for a predetermined amount of time based on the type and needs of the plants as determined by the owner.