Subirrigation reduces water use, nitrogen loss, and moss growth in a container nursery

  • Authors: Dumroese, R. Kasten; Pinto, Jeremy R.; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Davis, Anthony S.; Horiuchi, Baron
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Native Plants Journal, Vol. 7(3):253–261

Abstract

With about half the amount of water, subirrigated Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud. (Myrtaceae) grown 9 mo in a greenhouse were similar to those irrigated with an existing fixed overhead irrigation system; moss growth was about 3X greater in the fixed overhead system after 3 mo. Moss growth was affected by the rate of preplant controlled release fertilizer added (more fertilizer, less moss) and moss maturity, quantified as presence or absence of sporangia, was slowed with subirrigation. About 5 g nitrogen (N) leached per m2 (0.02 oz/ft2) of greenhouse bench under the fixed irrigation system, whereas none was lost from subirrigation. Besides Metrosideros macropus, the USDA Forest Service and Purdue University are evaluating subirrigation for nursery production of other species. To date, the results indicate subirrigation may be a useful technique for growing native plants with large canopies where conventional irrigation systems are less effective, or where water use or other environmental concerns are paramount. Dumroese RK, Pinto JR, Jacobs DF, Davis AS, Horiuchi B. 2006. Subirrigation reduces water use, nitrogen loss, and moss growth in a container nursery.

  • Citation: Dumroese, R. Kasten; Pinto, Jeremy R.; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Davis, Anthony S.; Horiuchi, Baron 2006. Subirrigation reduces water use, nitrogen loss, and moss growth in a container nursery. Native Plants Journal, Vol. 7(3):253–261
  • Keywords: irrigation, fertilization, Metrosideros polymorpha, Quercus, Picea, Acacia, Echinacea, electrical conductivity, Myrtaceae
  • Posted Date: January 26, 2007
  • Modified Date: January 26, 2007
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.