How To Assemble Sprinkler and Misting Components
In the Philippines it’s either long hot or short wet season so irrigating your crops, seedlings, or vegetable beds becomes important during the longer hot dry season. While drip irrigation systems are becoming more popular for large areas of vegetable rows and beds, an alternative to ground based irrigation is the overhead sprinkler system or low-pressure misting system.
In a greenhouse, misting and fogging is used to increase the relative humidity during the hot afternoons when temperatures are high and humidity is low. This is important because certain crops like tomatos thrive in an environment of 70-80% humidity. It’s important to understand the atmospheric factors affecting the plant transpiration cycle which will, in turn, help you understand the complexities of maximizing nutrient uptake.
To understand the need for a sprinkler or misting system, first it’s important to understand plant transpiration and the water cycle.
The Water Cycle – What is Transpiration?
Transpiration is the process by which moisture (and nutrients) flows upwards from the roots via the stem to the leaves, where it converts into vapor and released into the atmosphere. It’s basically evaporation of water from the plant leaves through the small pores on the underside of the leaves called stomata.
Many factors in the atmosphere affect transpiration, these include:
The higher the temperature, the higher the transpiration rates. This causes plant cells to open the stomata to allow moisture to exit.
Transpiration rates are lower when humidity of the air around the plants increases. When it’s humid, the air is filled with water particles, meaning the plant cannot release as much moisture through evaporation. This is often seen by sudden wilting of plants during the day, and occurs when a plant transpires too much, releasing more moisture than it is taking up through the roots.
Wind and Air Movement
Increasing movement of the air around a plant results in a higher transpiration rate. Wind moves the humid air away from the surface of the leaf, thereby encouraging the plant to release moisture.
When a plant lacks moisture in the soil or grow medium, plants transpire less to maintain the moisture inside the plant cells to protect themselves. This is called senescence, or the process of deterioration with age (premature ageing).
Type of Plant
Vegetable plants need a healthy and balanced transpiration cycle to grow compared to cacti and succulents, which conserve more moisture inside its cells. The type of plant or crop grown is important to consider when determining how much to irrigate.
Sprinkler & Misting System
Sprinkler systems suspended on a line above ground cover a wide area and are great for small tree and plant seedling nurseries that are cultivated in polybags. It reduces time and effort for application compared to manual labor.
Fogging/Misting systems help control the humidity levels according to the preferences of your plants and offer temporary relief from hot temperatures.
To find out how to install the sprinkler and misting systems, watch the video below: