Upgrading your irrigation system can save on labor

Upgrading your irrigation system can save on labor

Finding employees for your greenhouse business is always a difficult task, not to mention finding people qualified to water correctly. In a recent post on Dramm.com, the company’s Commercial Products Business Manager Kurt Becker describes how upgrading your irrigation systems can reduce labor greatly while improving plant quality.

Becker notes that irrigation is one of the most important tasks in horticulture. Providing even watering to all plants while understanding the volumes required, understanding the variables of climate and light on need, and utilizing correct pattern, droplet sizes, and tools makes it a job for experienced employees. Upgrading to overhead, drip, and capillary irrigation systems can provide the evenness, correct flows, and right delivery while freeing up labor. (Dramm has a number of tools to help train on hand watering, including a Watering 101 Video and a Watering Tool Selection Video) Automating this task by installing watering systems designed to efficiently apply water to the plant, evenly and specifically, can reduce labor greatly while keeping plant growth healthy and even.

The decision to automate irrigation involves two points, Becker says: developing an irrigation system capable of providing even watering throughout the crop, and considering if you want a computer or timed schedule to dictate when plants are watered. These are mutually exclusive. You can manually start an irrigation system on your own. You can also automate this system to water on a set schedule or when environmental parameters dictate.

Often, Becker says, growers equate irrigation automation with giving up control. This does not need to be the case. An irrigation system can be designed to apply water evenly from plant to plant without automatically activating a watering cycle. Manual operation or even semi-automated systems are common.

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