How to Develop Your Greenhouse Farming Water Conservation Strategy?
Water conservation won't be the only reason you choose a greenhouse, but it may be an important factor. There are many studies that show that greenhouses use less water compared to traditional gardening.
(watering the plants)
With methods and equipment that ensure plant quality and yield, greenhouse gardeners can save water. Learning about some information and getting tips can make every drop of your gardening water more valuable.
Four reasons why greenhouse gardening uses less water
- Greenhouse plants have a shorter growing cycle than traditional open-air gardening, and therefore require less water throughout the growing season.
- Greenhouse plants are spaced smaller apart, reducing water consumption.
- Newer irrigation techniques improve water use efficiency.
- Since gardeners can adjust greenhouse temperature as well as humidity according to plant growth, plants lose less water through evapotranspiration.
Factors affecting greenhouse water consumption
- Air movement
Ventilation systems and horizontal-airflow systems can increase the amount of evapotranspiration. A breeze of 5 miles per hour can increase evapotranspiration by 20%.
- Type of irrigation system
Only 20% of the water sprayed by conventional sprinkler systems reaches the plants. Upgraded irrigation systems such as hydroponic systems increase water use efficiency by recycling water.
- Solar radiation
Greenhouses made of glass materials can reduce the impact of solar radiation on plants to a certain extent
To reduce water evaporation, shaded sections can be added to the interior and exterior of the greenhouse. The rate of water evaporation slows down and plants need less water.
- Plant type
Succulents, such as cacti, do not need much water to stay healthy. Smaller potted vegetables and fruits also use less water than larger plants. However, heavy leaf canopy plants need more water to stay hydrated.
Ideas about developing greenhouse water conservation strategy
Using a drip irrigation system
Drip irrigation systems are considered to be an excellent irrigation system for water conservation in greenhouses. Drip irrigation systems can directly moisten plant roots and the soil around them, effectively increasing water use efficiency and reducing water waste.
Drip irrigation systems can be set in the ground or buried in the soil. Gardeners can distribute water precisely, and the water can be collected and reused.
Whether it's a glass greenhouse, portable greenhouse or wooden greenhouse, drip irrigation systems are worth introducing.
However, it is important to note that drip irrigation systems can be expensive to set up. If you wish to introduce a drip irrigation system into your greenhouse, you need to anticipate the cost. The larger the greenhouse, the higher the cost, while a smaller backyard greenhouse will cost less.
Reduce lawn area
Common lawns require a lot of water to stay healthy, which obviously runs counter to your idea of a water-efficient greenhouse. You can reduce the size of your lawn or replace it with drought-tolerant plants and plants that require less water, such as shrubs, to create a greenhouse landscape. Or, if you still don't feel it's aesthetically pleasing enough, you can replace the lawn with slabs of stone or cobblestones in your greenhouse. These plants, as well as the slabs, are practical and can also reduce water consumption.
Rainwater as a gift from nature can help our greenhouse gardening, and collecting rainwater is an excellent idea to save water and reduce expenses.
If you plan to do this, please get both of these in advance before everything starts.
- Rainwater is not potable water and contains some impurities. Know the local weather pollution conditions and the possible effects on greenhouse plants.
- Search online for "Is it illegal to collect rainwater in my state". In some states, it is illegal to collect rainwater and you must be aware of the warnings.
How do I use rainwater?
- Collecting rainwater from your roof
Use your drainage pipes and install a larger barrel under the pipes to collect rainwater. You can also set up screens in the barrel to filter out impurities and insects.
- Garden rainwater irrigation system
With just a few simple steps, you can easily set up a rainwater irrigation system. Save money, time and the environment.
Step 1. Design your greenhouse plant layout so that the plants form rectangular squares
Step 2. Add a piping system to the downspouts so that rainwater reaches the plants through the pipes.
Cover the soil
Covering the soil around your plants with horticultural debris such as straw or bark can effectively reduce water evaporation and ward off pest and weed growth. This practice can save money and also makes good use of plant debris.
Avoid using traditional sprinklers
Traditional sprinklers are inefficient and can consume a lot of water. According to some gardeners, sprinklers can consume up to 1,000 liters of water an hour. Sprinklers are like machines that are not smart enough to supply water based on plant characteristics and water needs.
Use of domestic wastewater
Your dishwashing wastewater and shower wastewater can be used for greenhouse irrigation. These domestic wastewater contain very small amounts of soap residue and detergents that do not affect the plants too much.
Use a water-seeping hose
The seepage hose can be buried under the soil to deliver water directly to the plant roots. Remember to check and maintain the hose frequently to extend the life of the hose. Aging hoses can cause leaks, one drop per second, which equates to wasting 113 gallons of water every month.
Reduce watering frequency
Water your plants when they need water, and water less frequently. Before watering, stick your finger a few inches deep into the soil to check for moisture.
You're better off watering in the morning, when water evaporates less than in the afternoon and evening, and water is used more efficiently.