An overview of irrigation PDF Print E-mail

For any tunnel farming venture to work, you must realise that water is the critical success factor. Water quality is important so you should always have a full analysis of your water done before spending any money. Your water sample will also indicate any deficencies or abundance of needed elements. This can assist you with your choice of fertilizers.


The easiest way to feed your plants is by dosing the water directly. You can premix your fertilizer in your water tanks. Before irrigating, it is advisable to circulate the water which will ensure all sediments are correctly and thoroughly mixed. An agitator can also be used. Most people rely on automated systems to irrigate. These control systems can be set to irrigate at specific times and also for different durations. Each tunnel's requirements will be different depending on the crop, stage of growth, climate, size of bag, pump capacity, dripper size and also growing medium used. It is of utmost importance that you personally monitor the requirements of your tunnel closely to ensure that the setup is correct. If you don't, you cannot expect a high success rate.


Another factor to consider is your irrigation protocol of choice. Do you want to use sprinklers or drippers to irrigate? Sprinkler systems use a lot more water and also encourage increased levels of pests and diseases. A dripper system uses a lot less water but requires more management and maintenance due to the fact that it is more prone to blockages. You can treat your water with chemicals which will go a long way to prevent such blockages. Also properly research the crop you would like to grow as some prefer drip irrigation while others prefer sprinkler irrigation. Tomatoes and roses for example prefer drip irrigation.


As mentioned above, water is the major critical success factor. It is worth spending the time and effort doing this properly. If you are in doubt, consult with someone who can assist you.