March 6, 2012

Predicting Plant Water Uptake

Understanding plant water use begins with substrates, which serve as the water reservoir for plants. There are a few basic concepts that will help you understand the impact that substrate selection has on plant water availability. Container capacity (or water-holding capacity) is the maximum amount of water a substrate can hold. To calculate the container capacity of your substrate, fill a container with dry substrate and seal the container holes. Once you measure the amount of water you need to add to completely fill the container, place the container over a catch basin and remove the seals. Allow the container to drain for one hour and measure the amount of water that drained from the substrate. The container capacity is: (volume to saturate-drainage) divided by volume of container. Then, multiply that figure by 100 percent. A container capacity of 60 to 70 percent is typical for soilless substrates. Another important […]

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August 3, 2011

Using ABA To Reduce Water Loss In Chrysanthemum & Aster

Greenhouse crop production often employs the use of plant hormones and growth-regulating chemicals to control growth such as plant height, rooting and flowering. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a natural plant hormone produced in roots in response to drought conditions. ABA is moved to the leaves, where it stimulates the closure of stomata, reduces water loss and halts photosynthesis. Until recently, ABA has not been used in greenhouse crop production because there have been no products registered for commercial use. However, Valent BioSciences Corporation is planning to release ConTego Pro, a new plant growth regulator utilizing S-abscisic acid (S-ABA), the biologically active form of ABA. ConTego Pro has already received EPA registration. To delay wilting, S-ABA is best applied as a foliar spray. An application causes the stomata to close, and therefore, reduces water loss from the leaves. Treated plants exposed to water-limiting conditions can therefore tolerate a longer period of […]

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June 9, 2011

Netafim’s More Sustainable Dripline

Netafim USA’s high performance Techline CV dripline is now manufactured with recycled materials, giving Netafim the opportunity to earn LEED credits on landscape installations. Techline CV is used in a broad range of applications to irrigate turf, trees, shrubs and bedding areas. The flexible tubing features two PSI check valves in each dripper for equalized application of water throughout the system (all drippers turn on and off at the same time). Check valves also prevent low emitter drainage with elevation changes up to 4 1/2 feet. Techline CV’s dripper design offers continuous self-flushing throughout the line, not just at the beginning or end or a cycle. Pressure compensation allows equal amounts of water to be delivered over a broad pressure range (14.7 to 70 PSI), and a physical root barrier protects the internal system from root intrusion without chemicals. Techline CV can be installed above ground or sub-surface, and it delivers water directly […]

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January 12, 2010

Water Treatment & Recycling Workshop In New Jersey

The Water Education Alliance is hosting a water treatment and recycling workshop January 21 in at Van Vugt Greenhouse in Pompton Plains, N.J. Growers who attend the one-day workshop will learn how to manage pathogens, algae, biofilm and salt problems in irrigation water, irrigate with recaptured water, surface ponds and reclaimed water sources, and use new research and technologies. Registration is $40. For more information, visit

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