You are on page 1of 12

Nursery Management

Nursery is a place where plants are cultivated and grown to usable size. The nursery
management has gained a status of commercial venture. The retailer nurseries sell planting
materials to the general public, wholesale nurseries sell only to other nurseries and to commercial
landscape gardeners, and private nurseries supply the needs of institutions or private estates.
Raising nursery from seeds and other planting materials is easy and convenient way for
ensuring better germination and root development. The planting material of horticultural crops is
multiplied under nursery conditions with proper care and management for raising healthy,
vigorous and disease free seedlings.

Necessity of Nursery:

1. Seedlings reduce the crop span and also increases the uniformity of the crop.
2. It is easy and convenient to manage seedlings under small area.
3. Effective and timely plant protection measures are possible with minimal efforts.
4. Nursery provide favourable climate to emerging plants for their better growth and
development.
5. Seed cost of some crops like hybrid vegetables, ornamental plants, spices and some fruits
can be economized through nursery.
6. Nursery production help in maintaining effective plant stand in shortest possible time.

Location and Layout of Nursery


For selecting an area for establishing nursery it is worthwhile to consider the following
points:
1. Site for nursery should be selected at such places where abundant sunshine and proper
ventilation is available.
2. The site should be nearer to irrigation facilities and easily accessible.
3. It should be protected from stray animals, snails, rats etc.
4. Nursery should be raised in such place where no water stagnation is experienced, and have
good
drainage system.
5. In humid and rain prone areas nursery place should be well protected from heavy rains
through protected structures.
6. Land for nursery should be well drained and located at on a high level.
7. Soil should be sandy loam or loamy with PH range of 6 to 7 and rich in organic matter and
free from pathogenic inoculums.
8. The plot for nursery should be selected near to a water source.
9. Nursery plots should be chosen near the farm building, so that frequent supervision can be
made easily.
10. Nursery plots should be away from the shady places.
11. Nursery plots should be selected at one side of the field to isolate the other fields for doing
cultural practices easily.
12. Site should be safe from stray animals and excessive diseases and pest attacks.

1
Model Nursery Layout:
Nursery is the place where all kinds of plants like trees, shrubs, climbers etc. are grown
and kept for transporting or for using them as stock plants for budding, grafting and other method
of propagation or for sale. The modern nurseries also serve as an area where garden tools,
fertilizers are also offered for sale along with plant material. The area for nursery is prepared for
effective utilization of inputs and to do things in proper manner. Some important components
which should be taken into care and provision should be made for these during planning and
layout preparation for nurseries are as follows:
1. Fence:
Prior to the establishment of a nursery, a good fence with barbed wire must be erected all
around the nursery to prevent tress pass of animals and theft. The fence could be further
strengthened by planting a live hedge with thorny fruit plants.
2. Roads and paths:
A proper planning for roads and paths inside the nursery will not only add beauty, but also
make the nursery operations easy and economical. This could be achieved by dividing the nursery
into different blocks and various sections. But at the same time, the land should not be wasted by
unnecessarily laying out of paths and roads.
3. Progeny block/Mother plant block:
The nursery should have a well-maintained progeny block or mother plant block/scion
bank planted with those varieties in good demand. The success of any nursery largely depends
upon the initial selection of progeny plants or mother plants for further multiplication. A well
managed progeny block or mother plants block will not only create confidence among the
customers but also reduces the cost of production and increases the success rate of grafting/
budding/layering because of availability of fresh scion material throughout the season within the
nursery itself.
4. Irrigation system:
Horticultural nursery plants require abundant supply of water for irrigation, since they are
grown in polybags or pots with limited quantity of potting mixture. Hence sufficient number of
wells or other water sources to yield sufficient quantity of irrigation water is a must in nurseries.
5. Office cum stores:
An office-cum-stores is needed for effective management of the nursery. The office
building may be constructed in a place which offers better supervision and also to receive
customers. A store room of suitable size is needed for storing polybags, tools and implements,
packaging material, labels, pesticides, fertilizers etc.
6. Seed beds:
In a nursery, this component is essential to raise the seedlings and rootstocks. These are to
be laid out near the water source, since they require frequent watering and irrigation. Beds of 1-
meter width of any convenient length are to be made. A working area of 60 cm between the beds
is necessary. This facilitates ease in sowing of seeds, weeding, watering, spraying and lifting of
seedlings. Irrigation channels are to be laid out conveniently. Alternatively, sprinkler irrigation
system may be provided for watering the beds, which offers uniform germination and seedling
growth.

2
7. Potting mixture and potting yard:
For better success of nursery plants, a good potting mixture is necessary. The potting
mixtures for different purposes can be prepared by mixing fertile red soil, well rotten FYM, leaf
mold, oil cakes etc. in different proportions. The potting mixture may be prepared well in advance
by adding sufficient quantity of superphosphate for better decomposition and solubilization. The
potting mixture may be kept near the potting yard, where potting/pocketing is done. Construction
of a potting yard of suitable size facilitates potting of seedlings or grafting/ budding operations
even on a rainy day.

Cultural practices

Soil Preparation
Nursery bed preparation is an important step in crop management because it largely
affects crop stand and its performance at field level. Therefore, soil should be prepared by
repeated ploughing and spading. Dead plant parts which are seem to be dwellers of pathogens and
pests should be collected, removed and burnt. Well decomposed organic manure @ 40 -50 kg/10
m2, should be mixed thoroughly in the soil.

Nursery bed preparation


Before sowing seeds the beds should be levelled and pressed gently to make it firm.
Nearly 15-20 cm raised beds of 45-50 cm width are always preferred for raising nursery.
However, its length should be made according to the requirements or size of plots but should not
exceed 5-6 m. In between beds, drains of about 30-45 cm width are prepared and connected to the
main drain for removal of excess water during heavy pour.

Nutrient Management:
Usually in nursery beds normal fertilizers like urea, Muraite of Potash and DAP are
applied. Timing of fertilization should be given in two spilt i.e. basal and top dressing (after 10
days) by broadcasting or foliar spray @ 0.5-2%. Immediate before transplanting, application of
fertilizers should be avoided as it encourages diversion of plant energy toward root development
in nursery and has negative
impact on seedlings during exposure for transplanting. Common source of nutrients in nursery is
FYM, compost, vermicompost, leaf mold, cakes etc. Besides, primary nutrients like nitrogen and
phosphorus are essentially applied through straight fertilizers as these play an important role in
root and shoot development.

Weed management:
Weeds are plants unwanted at a place and time. There presence in nursery increases
competition with seedlings for nutrient, water, light and CO 2 results in lanky seedlings. Besides,
some weeds harbour pathogens and insects and also produce allelopathic effect on crop plants.
Therefore, weed control is very essential requirement for successful nursery production.
The following methods control weeds in either a nursery field or container crop:

3
1. Select a weed-free field or media for nursery preparation.
2. Control weeds in perimeter areas (i.e. fence rows and windbreaks).
3. To reduce weed seeds, properly store and compost manure before applying to the soil.
4. Use stallbed technique to avoid initial weed infestation.
5. Mow buffer strips to reduce seeds blown into irrigation ponds.
6. Minimize run-off from weedy fields to ponds.
7. Pump irrigation water from deep in the pond to avoid seeds on the water surface.
8. Ensure weed-free material is planted.
9. Do not move weeds between fields on equipment.
10. Cultivate fields when seedlings are small.
11. Use shallow tillage (2.5-5.0 cm) if herbicide has been applied.

Disease Management:
In nursery beds usually fungal diseases like damping off and foliar diseases like
anthracnose, blight, leaf spot and mildews are serious problems. Their control is possible only
through adopting an integrated approach of cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical
measures right from management of seed source to final uprooting seedlings.

Nursery Plant Protection:


Because of the variety of plants in the nursery, insect and disease control poses many
challenges. Integrated pest management (IPM) combines chemical, cultural and biologicalcontrol
techniques to address pest problems. Good sanitation and plant health reduce pest and disease
problems.
It is necessary to maintain vigorous, healthy plants by using proper culture and
management practices to provide natural resistance to plants. Heavily insect infested or injured
plants should be destroyed as earliest possible.

Insect pests, diseases are critical factors in the process of multiplication of plant material
under open as well as controlled conditions. Control of insects and diseases are integral part of the
nursery plant production.
Pest management: Prevention or avoidance of pests and their damage is possible by the following
methods:
1. Maintain vigorous, healthy plants by using proper culture and management practices
2. Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and realize that all culture and management
factors can affect pests.
3. Spot spray only infested plants that exceed the threshold
4. Destroy heavily infested or injured plants
5. Conserve and promote beneficial insects by selective pesticide use

Seed Collection
 The seeds should be collected well ahead of the planned planting season to allow time for
germination and for seedlings to develop to an appropriate size for planting.
 To ensure a full complement of species, seeds can be collected for several years in advance of
the proposed replanting project because some species do not produce much or any seed in

4
some years and many less-common species are unable to produce enough seed for
propagation purposes.

Considerations for Seed Collection


 Ensure correct plant identification. If unsure about the species identification; take a
specimen of the plant for later identification.
 Use sharp, clean secateurs to cut off woody fruits or for propagation cuttings as opposed
to hand pulling of fruits which may damage the parent plant.
 Use clean bags made of calico or hessian (not plastic as it encourages mould) or envelopes
to collect seed.
 Ensure seeds are fully developed to maturity before harvesting. It is a good idea to know
what the mature seed of the species being collected looks like. A method of ensuring
maturity is to simply cut through the seed capsule to expose the seed/s. This is especially
helpful in species with woody capsule.
 Collect from only healthy plants.
 Harvest no more than 20% of seed stored on each individual plant.
 Try to harvest seed from as many individual plants as possible to ensure that the plants
grown from this seed will contain genetic variety.
 Avoid contamination of seed collections by not mixing species in the same bag.
 Do not collect during or just after rain as the fruit may be affected by fungi.
 Keep seed from different areas separate, especially seed harvested from coastal sites or
wetland sites. Plants grown from the seed collected from specific areas should be planted
back into the same or nearby areas.

Consideration of the following five questions can help guide the collector in obtaining the
highest quality and therefore the most useful seed collections.
Why – defining the purpose and use of the seed collection
� Business � Research
� Horticulture � Conservation
What – defining high quality seed collections
� Correct target species identification and � Sufficient sized collection to meet the
verification intended uses
� Healthy, sound, viable seed
Where – being at the right place
� Species distribution � Provenance
� Local abundance
When – at the right time
� Plant type � Climate
� Fruit type
How – making high quality collections
� Sampling methods and techniques � Post harvest care of collections
� Collection methods

5
Quality should always exceed quantity. It is always better to collect fewer good seeds than
to hastily grab collections in an effort to gather a greater quantity of not-so-useful seeds.

Seed storage
Once collected seed must be stored in a ventilated container and kept in a shaded area. The
main purpose of traditional seed storage is to secure the supply of good quality seed for a planting
programme whenever needed. A seed store serves as a buffer between demand and production
and has a regular turnover: seeds are stored during periods of seed availability and shipped to
nurseries or other recipients when required to raise plants.
Normally seeds go through a physiologically inactive (quiescent) period from their
dispersal until they can germinate. The length of time seeds can stay viable in the natural
environment depends on the seeds themselves and the conditions around them. Based on the seed
longevity, they are classified as;
1. Recalcitrant seeds: Some seed types do not have the ability to stay alive for a long time.
These so-called recalcitrant seeds have short physiological storability, which can only be
slightly extended by storing them under controlled conditions.
2. Orthodox seeds: On the contrary, these seeds have a long storage potential and may under
favourable storage conditions stay viable for decades.

A large variation in storability is encountered between species. In seed handling


terminology, seeds have traditionally been grouped into two main groups according to their
physiological storage potential viz. recalcitrant and orthodox seed. Orthodox seed encompasses
seed that can be dried to low (2-5%) moisture content and can, with low moisture content, be
stored at low temperature. Viability is prolonged in a predictable manner by such moisture
reduction and reduction in storage temperature. Seeds of recalcitrant species maintain high
moisture content at maturity (often > 30-50%) and are sensitive to desiccation below 12-30%,
depending on species. They have a short storage potential and rapidly lose viability under any
kind of storage conditions.

The period seeds will remain viable in store (their longevity) is determined by:
1. Genetic: Species and sometimes genera typically show an inherited storage behaviour,
which may be either orthodox or recalcitrant. Large genetic variation may, however,
occur within species, sometimes ranging from orthodox to recalcitrant.
2. Developmental: Immature seeds generally have a shorter storability than seeds picked
at full maturity.
3. Environment: For practical purposes, environmental factors can be grouped into those
acting before and those acting during storage.
4. Pre-storage deterioration is of paramount importance for seed longevity because it
influences the initial viability. Optimal storage conditions can only maintain viability;
never improve it. If viability has been reduced from say 95 → 70% prior to storage,
even the best storage conditions cannot bring it back to 95%.
5. Loss of viability during storage can be caused instantly by insect or fungal attack or by
progressive natural deterioration (ageing).

6
6. Temperature and humidity are the most important factors in seed storage. Biochemical
processes are generally slowed down at low temperature; the lower the temperature,
the slower the process. Further, low temperature (< 8-10°C) inactivates most seed
insects and storage fungi.
7. Moisture content. Most biochemical and cytological deterioration is most likely to take
place at high moisture content. Low temperatures are harmless to orthodox seeds with
a low moisture content, but if moisture content is high (> 6-8%), seeds are prone to
fatal damage by ice formation when exposed to sub-zero temperature (freezing).

In general:
• Store seeds at lowest possible temperature that will not damage the seeds
• Store seeds with lowest possible moisture content that will not damage the seeds
• Eliminate as many pathogens as possible before storage
• Protect seeds from pathogens during storage
• Store in the dark
• Store orthodox and intermediate seeds with low moisture content in airtight containers
• Store recalcitrant seeds in material permeable to gases but with retention of moisture

Seed treatment:
Seed dormancy refers to a state in which viable seeds fail to germinate when provided
with conditions normally favourable to germination i.e. adequate moisture, appropriate
temperature regime, a normal atmosphere and in some cases light. Dormancy has evolved as a
strategy to avoid germination under conditions where seedling survival is likely to be low.
There are various degrees of dormancy varying from very slight to very strong (deep).

Methods to break seed coat related dormancy:


1. Mechanical scarification:
Manual scarification of the seed-coat by piercing, nicking, chipping, filing or burning with
the aid of a knife, needle, file, hot wire burner, abrasion paper is usually considered the most
effective way of overcoming physical dormancy. Since each seed is handled manually, it can be
given individual treatment according to the thickness of the seed-coat.
Virtually all seed can be made permeable, and the risk of over-treatment (damage) is
small.

2. Hot water:
Hot water overcomes physical dormancy in Leguminosae by creating tension which
consequently causes cracking of the seed coat. The method is most effective when seeds are
submerged into the hot water, not heated together with the water. A quick dip is also better to
avoid heat damage to the embryo. Most thick-coated Acacia species tolerate a brief (e.g. <1
min.) submersion into boiling water. However, for several hard coated Australian species 2
minutes’ boiling was found superior to 1 minute, and some species are pretreated by boiling for
up to 5 minutes. A common procedure is to pour the seeds into boiling water and then leave them
to cool and imbibe in the water for 12-24 hours. The temperature of the water decreases quickly

7
enough not to cause damage to most species with relatively thick seed-coats and resistant
embryos.

3. Acid pre-treatment:
Acid used for seed pretreatment is almost exclusively concentrated sulphuric acid
(H2SO4). The acid causes some kind of wet combustion of the seed-coat and works equally well
in legumes and non-legumes. However, the method is not applicable to seeds that easily become
permeable because the acid then penetrates and damages the embryo.
Duration of treatment varies according to the following factors:
a. Seed-coat thickness (depending on species, maturity, age etc.)
b. Temperature (longer treatment is required at lower temperature)
c. Strength of the acid (new acid is stronger than re-used acid)
d. Stirring (stirring during treatment reduces duration of treatment)
e. Relative volume of the acid (a relatively large volume of acid as related to volume of
seed is likely to reduce time required for pretreatment).
Acid pretreatment has several advantages in overcoming physical dormancy:
1. It is applicable to many species, not only leguminous
2. The duration of treatment is short as compared to other scarification methods
3. It is the most effective method of bulk treatment for very hard coated seeds
4. It requires no special equipment
5. Seeds can be stored for a period after treatment
The method also has some major problems:
1. It implies a serious safety hazard to workers
2. Seeds are in risk of being damaged by over-treatment
3. It can be difficult to safely dispose of waste acid
4. It can be expensive in some places

4. Cold water treatment:


Soaking in stagnant or running water is less laborious method. However, germination
sometimes delayed after prolonged soaking alone as compared to alternate soaking and drying.
Where physical dormancy is relatively weak e.g. fresh legume seeds, soaking is often sufficient to
render the seed-coat permeable. The effect of prolonged soaking on hard seed varies with species.
In some species seeds become gradually permeable, in other species there is little effect of
continuous soaking. Generally, however, soaking alone is a very slow procedure to overcome
physical dormancy.

5. Growth regulators
Gibberellic acid or gibberellines (GA) is a group of naturally occurring plant hormones.
The hormones play a central role in the early germination processes by activating enzyme
production and mobilising storage reserves.

6. Cold Stratification

Seeds of many other species of woody ornamentals such as holly (Ilex spp.), southern
magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), nandina (Nandina domestica), and sweet gum (Liquidambar
8
styraciflua) have embryos or endosperms that are nonfunctional, or that contain inhibitors at the
time of seed maturity, and require a period of cold stratification. Cold stratification is the
subjection of moist seeds to low temperatures for a specified length of time before germination.

Manures and Fertilizers:

Fertilizers are chemical compounds applied to promote plant and fruit growth. Fertilizers
are usually applied either through the soil (for uptake by plant roots) or by foliar feeding (for
uptake through leaves).

Fertilizers can be placed into the categories of

1. Organic fertilizers (composed of decayed plant/animal matter), or inorganic fertilizers


(composed of simple chemicals and minerals). Organic fertilizers are termed as manures
and made of 'naturally' occurring compounds, such as peat, manufactured through natural
processes (such as composting), or naturally occurring mineral deposits.
2. Inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical processes.

Properly applied, organic fertilizers can improve the health and productivity of soil and
plants, as they provide different essential nutrients to encourage plant growth. Organic nutrients
increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for
organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, which aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Chemical fertilizers
may have long-term adverse impact on the organisms living in soil and a detrimental long term
effect on soil productivity of the soil.

Advantages of manures:

1.The manures (organic fertilizer) are better specially when used for vegetables.
2.They increase the soil’s ability to hold water and make the soil easier to cultivate.
3.Help the soil retain more of the plant nutrients.
4.They add organic matter, which improves the way water interacts with the soil. In sandy
soils, compost acts as a sponge to help retain water in the soil that would otherwise drain
down below the reach of plant roots (in this way, it protects plants against drought). In clay
soils, compost helps to add porosity (tiny holes and passageways) to the soil, making it
drain more quickly so that it doesn't stay waterlogged and doesn't dry out into a bricklike
substance.
5.Compost also inoculates the soil with vast numbers of beneficial microbes (bacteria, fungi,
etc.) and the habitat that the microbes need to live. These microbes are able to extract
nutrients from the mineral part of the soil and eventually pass the nutrients on to plants.

9
Types of manures:

1. Farm Yard Manure (FYM):

This is the traditional manure and is mostly readily available to the farmers. Farm yard
manure is a decomposed mixture of cattle dung and urine with straw and litter used as bedding
material and residues from the fodder fed to the cattle. The waste material of cattle shed
consisting of dung and urine soaked in the refuse of the shade is collected daily and placed in
trenches about 6-7 m long, 1.5-2 m broad and 1 m deep. Each trench is filled up to a height of
about 0.5 m above the ground level. The top of the heap is to be made dome shaped and plastered
over with cow dung earth slurry. It becomes ready to apply after 3-4 months. It is possible to
prepare by this process 7-8.5 m3 of manure. (5-6 tonnes or 10-12 cart loads) per year per head of
cattle. Well rotten farm yard manure contains 0.4 to 1.5 per cent N, 0.3-0.9 % P2O5 and 0.3-1.9%
K2O. Animal and cow dung from biogas are also used in similar manner.

2. Compost

It is a combination of food waste and brown waste that is being decomposed through
aerobic decomposition into a rich black soil. The process of composting is simple and practiced
by individuals in their homes, farmers on their land, and industrially by cities. Compost soil is
very rich soil and used for many purposes such as in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and
agriculture. The compost soil itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil
conditioner, a fertilizer to add vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.

Composting is a biological process in which micro-organisms, mainly fungi and bacteria,


convert degradable organic waste into humus like substance. This finished product, which looks
like soil, is high in carbon and nitrogen and is an excellent medium for growing plants. It recycles
the nutrients and returns them to the soil as nutrients. Apart from being clean, cheap, and safe,
composting can significantly reduce the amount of disposable garbage.

A common misunderstanding about compost piles is that they must be hot to be


successful. This just isn't true. If you have good aeration and moisture, and the proper ingredient
mix, your pile will decompose just fine at temperatures of 50 degrees Farenheit or above.

Aerobic composting:

Hot, aerobic composting is conducted such that thermophilic bacteria thrive. These
aerobic bacteria break down material faster, producing less odour, fewer pathogens, and less
greenhouse gas. High temperatures destroy insects, larvae, and weed seeds. To achieve
thermophilic decomposition, a compost bin is best about 1 cubic metre (1.3 cu yd), or 1 metre
(3 ft) wide, 1 metre (3 ft) tall, and as long as desired for windrow composting. This provides
enough insulating mass to build up heat but also allows oxygen infiltration. The center of the pile
heats up the most, so regular turning/mixing is needed for insuring all material spends some time
in the hottest area. When turning the pile results in no further temperature rise, the active aerobic
phase is complete, and the mass may be turned out to a maturing pile. When the matured material
has a dark brown crumbly appearance and the smell of rich damp earth, it is ready to use.
10
Anaerobic composting:

Cool or ambient temperature composting, when the level of physical intervention is


minimal, usually results in temperatures never reaching above 30°C (86°F). It is slower but
effective, and is the more common type of composting in domestic gardening. Such composting
systems may be in open or closed containers of wood or plastic, or in open exposed piles. Kitchen
scraps are put in the garden compost bin and left untended. This scrap bin can have a very high
water content which reduces aeration, and may become odorous. To improve drainage and
airflow, and reduce odor, carbon-rich materials, or 'browns', such as wood chips, shredded bark,
leaves, or twigs may be added to mix and cover each wet addition, or holes made occasionally in
the pile.

Inorganic fertilizers:
Nitrogen fertilizer

Nitrogen fertilizer is often synthesized using the Haber-Bosch process, which produces
ammonia. This ammonia is then used to produce other compounds (notably anhydrous
ammonium nitrate and urea) which can be applied to fields. These concentrated products may be
used as fertilizer or diluted with water to form a concentrated liquid fertilizer. Ammonia can also
be used in the Odda process in combination with rock phosphate and potassium fertilizer to
produce compound fertilizers.
Irrigation:

Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil. It is usually used to assist in


growing crops in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. In contrast, agriculture that
relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed farming. Irrigation is often studied together
with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a
given area.

Types of irrigation

Various types of irrigation techniques differ in how the water obtained from the source is
distributed within the field. In general, the goal is to supply the entire field uniformly with water,
so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little.

Surface irrigation (Flood irrigation):


In surface irrigation systems water moves over and across the land by simple gravity flow
in order to wet it and to infiltrate into the soil. Surface irrigation can be subdivided into furrow,
border strip or basin irrigation. It is often called flood irrigation when the irrigation results in
flooding or near flooding of the cultivated land. Historically, this has been the most common
method of irrigating agricultural land where water levels from the irrigation source permit, the
levels are controlled by dikes, usually plugged by soil. This is often seen in terraced rice fields
(rice paddies), where the method is used to flood or control the level of water in each distinct
field. In some cases, the water is pumped, or lifted by human or animal power to the level of the
land.

11
Drip irrigation:

It is also known as trickle irrigation, and functions as its name suggests. Water is delivered
at or near the root zone of plants, drop by drop. This method can be the most water-efficient
method of irrigation, if managed properly, since evaporation and runoff are minimized. In modern
agriculture, drip irrigation is often combined with plastic mulch, further reducing evaporation, and
is also the means of delivery of fertilizer.
Drip irrigation methods range from very high-tech and computerized to low-tech and
labor-intensive. Lower water pressures are usually needed than for most other types of systems,
with the exception of low energy center pivot systems and surface irrigation systems, and the
system can be designed for uniformity throughout a field or for precise water delivery to
individual plants in a landscape containing a mix of plant species. Both pressure regulation and
filtration to remove particles are important. The tubes are usually black (or buried under soil or
mulch) to prevent the growth of algae and to protect the polyethylene from degradation due to
ultraviolet light. But drip irrigation can also be as low-tech as a porous clay vessel sunk into the
soil and occasionally filled from a hose or bucket.
Sprinkle irrigation:
In sprinkler or overhead irrigation, water is piped to one or more central locations within the field
and distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A system utilizing sprinklers, sprays, or guns
mounted overhead on permanently installed risers is often referred to as a solid-set irrigation system.
Higher pressure sprinklers that rotate are called rotors and are driven by a ball drive, gear drive, or impact
mechanism. Rotors can be designed to rotate in a full or partial circle.

**********

12