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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Water Quality for Pot-in-Pot Nurseries
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Pot-in-pot Experimental Plot Since July 2003 we have established four experimental systems in Northern Ohio to determine:
  • the amount of water loss in pot-in-pot nurseries due to different levels of drip irrigation and rainfall
  • the levels of nutrients and pesticide residues in leachate with various irrigation schedules and pesticide application methods
  • the relationship between the amount of irrigation and medium moisture to tree growth.

Each system consists of a plot containing

  • 50 trees in a pot-in-pot system and irrigated with micro spray stakes
  • 10 drainage water measurement devices
  • 10 container substrate moisture probes
  • 10 thermocouples
  • one weather station
  • two data loggers.
Schematic diagram of pot-in-pot experimental system

We are collecting data on

  • the amount of irrigation
  • drainage water loss
  • substrate moisture content and temperature
  • weather conditions
  • tree caliper growth
  • levels of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), phosphate (P), and potassium (K) in drainage water

In addition, we are developing an automatic irrigation control system specifically for pot-in-pot production systems.


Studies using this system will impact the nursery industry as it seeks to develop methods to

  • improve water/nutrient usage
  • reduce waste water and nutrient use
  • minimize the release of excess nutrients


For more information see:
A New System to Monitor Water and Nutrient Use in Pot-in-Pot Nursery Production Systems Publication
Real-Time Measurement of Drainage from Pot-in-Pot Container Nurseries Publication
Monitoring Water Use, Nutrient Management, Drainage and Leachate in Pot-in-Pot Nursery Container Production Publication
Monitoring Water Use, Nutrient Management, Drainage and Leachate in Pot-in-Pot Nursery Container ProductionAdobe pdf document Poster
Contact:
Heping Zhu

 


Last Modified: 9/27/2007
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