Submitted to: Extension Circular
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/2004
Publication Date: 3/12/2005
Citation: Zhu, H., Zondag, R.H., Krause, C.R., Derksen, R.C., Demaline, T. 2005. Preliminary investigation of water and nutrient use, substrate temperature and moisture in pot-in-pot production. Extension Circular 195. pp. 135-144.
Technical Abstract: Nursery growers are using pot-in-pot system to produce higher quality tree crops at reduced labor cost. Intensive irrigation and fertilization practices have raised concerns over water use efficiency because of water loss from containers and the extent of nutrient and chemical leaching with drainage water to soil and ground water. Field experiments were conducted to examine water and nutrition utilization efficiency, water drainage from pot-in-pot nursery container production, and responses of container substrate moisture and temperature and tree growth response to changes in weather conditions. Results from this preliminary study indicated that the amount of drainage water loss and nutrition leachate varied with the amount of water received by pot-in-pot containers. Conventional irrigation strategy provided far more water and nutrient than plants can use. The moisture content varied with the amount of rainfall, duration and row location. Longer intensive rainfall caused the substrate to remain longer in saturated condition. The substrate temperature in the pot-in-pot system had much lower variation than the ambient air temperature within a day, and was independent of moisture levels before the substrate was frozen.