Timely watering is the main problem when growing plants in a greenhouse. Humidification of the soil by rain does not occur, and evaporation is much more intense than in open ground. The optimal solution is to organize a drip irrigation system in a greenhouse. You can assemble it yourself or purchase a ready-made kit in the store.
Greenhouse drip irrigation system: principle of operation and benefits
The drip irrigation system is an extensive network of pipelines with special outlets - droppers. Water is supplied from a nearby tank, which is fixed above the level of irrigated soil. Through water outlets, drops of water enter directly into the root zone of plants.
Spot irrigation greatly facilitates the process of moistening the soil in the greenhouse. The main advantages of this system are:
- water consumption reduction up to 50%;
- the ability to fully automate the irrigation process and reduce labor costs;
- uniform distribution of moisture, preventing leaching of soil;
- control over the process of fertilizing fertilizers by adding them to the tank with water;
- reduction of weeds due to water supply only to cultivated plants;
- lack of hard crust on the soil surface;
- the possibility of simultaneous watering of a large area under low pressure;
- installation and maintenance of the system is not particularly difficult.
Such an irrigation system can significantly save time, increase crop yields.
Drip irrigation in a greenhouse: scheme, device and water flow
There are several options for organizing a drip system. The general scheme of this process is approximately the same: water intake - filtration - drip lines - water outlet.
According to the degree of automation, drip systems are of 3 types:
- Simple. Water is supplied and turned off manually.
- Semi-automatic. Using an electronic starter, it turns on and off automatically. It is only necessary to monitor the water level in the tank and maintain it.
- Machine. Water enters the tank on its own. Heats up in the sun during the day. In the evening, watering is turned on. Water supply stops when the established norm is poured under each plant.
A source for water intake can be a water supply system, a well, a well, a natural body of water or a capacity of 200 l or more, for example, a metal barrel, a welded tank, or a tank. To ensure sufficient pressure, the container is fixed at a certain height. This can be a natural elevation on the site or a structure assembled from brick, metal, timber. Material selection depends on capacity and load. The height of the device should be about 1 m. The hole or tap for connecting the hose is located just above the bottom so that water does not stagnate and debris settles on the bottom.
How to organize drip irrigation in a greenhouse (video)
The metal container must be coated with a special composition that prevents corrosion. It is best to use a plastic shower container.
The water supply network can be arranged in two ways:
- Inside the soil. Plastic pipes with integrated droppers are instilled to a shallow depth of 5-10 cm. Water does not evaporate from the surface, but enters the root zone in full. It is used most often for microwatering of tomatoes. It does not require dismantling in the winter.
- On the surface of the soil. Elements of the irrigation system are located directly on the ground or suspended on small supports. Mostly used are hoses, plastic water pipes or drip tape. In seasonal greenhouses, this method is used, since it allows you to dismantle the system in the fall.
To determine if the plant receives enough moisture, you can make a small hole next to it and observe the process of watering in the greenhouse. Regulate the intensity of hydration by screwing and unscrewing the screws.
Water consumption for irrigation depends on the following factors:
- type of plant;
- vegetative period;
- the depth of the root system;
- air humidity;
- temperature condition.
The calculation of the volume of water for one irrigation is done by multiplying the total area of the greenhouse by 20 liters. Knowing the number of plants and the rate of water consumption per 1 bush, you can make more accurate calculations. So, tomatoes need 1.5 liters of water per day, cucumbers - 2 liters, and cabbage consumes about 2.5 liters.
The pressure in the pipes must be taken into account. If the area is more than 50 sq.m., a pump is installed in the tank. The diameter of the pipes also matters, in domestic greenhouses it is 16 - 18 mm. In order for water to flow uniformly into all sections of the pipe, its length should not exceed 100 m.
Depending on the pressure of the water, there are droppers:
- uncompensated, depending on the pressure in the pipes;
- compensated, providing a stable pressure head at pressure drops.
Before installing the drip system, a scheme of the irrigated area should be drawn up to indicate the places of passage of the lines and to calculate their number.
Automatic drip irrigation in a greenhouse: manufacturers overview
Drip irrigation systems are presented by Russian, Belarusian, German, Israeli and Polish manufacturers.
The choice of design depends on the following indicators:
- number of plants watered;
- the location of the beds in the greenhouse;
- required irrigation intensity;
The most popular and affordable systems are:
- Signor Tomato. The system of Russian production is considered one of the best. The basic configuration is designed for watering 60 plants. You can increase the number by 12 bushes by installing additional parts. The controller and LCD display make the process of setting up automation simple and convenient. No outlet tap required. A powerful pump pumps water directly from the barrel. Up to 3.5 liters of water for each plant can be supplied daily. The battery recharges the solar battery. The average cost is 5500 rubles.
- "Water strider". A system with an automatic controller that allows you to select the interval and duration of water supply. Designed for irrigation of 2 beds with a length of 4 m. For longer lengths, additional extension inserts will be required. For the timer-valve operation, 2 AA batteries are needed. It is made in Russia. The average cost is 3,500 rubles.
- "Aqua Dusya Start". The system of Belarusian production, is available in different configurations. The automatic full cycle system is designed to water 50 bushes. Includes a network of tees and hoses - splitters. The water supply is turned on automatically. After 2 liters of water are poured under each bush, the system turns off. To work, you need a set of 8 AA batteries, which are enough for the whole season. The average cost of the basic set is 5400 rubles, the extended equipment for 70 plants - 6700 rubles.
- "Gardena". The system is equipped with a supply hose and a set of droppers for watering 40 plants. Work offline provides a timer. The kit includes fittings, a universal tool for assembly, a master unit for connecting to a water source. It is made in Germany. The cost of the basic set is 8000 rubles.
In addition to automation, you can purchase kits with manual control or partially automated.
Drip tape selection (video)
DIY drip irrigation system installation
Installation of the drip irrigation system begins with the marking of the territory to be irrigated, according to the drawn up scheme.
To mount the drip irrigation system, it is necessary to prepare the following materials:
- capacity of the required volume or a pump supplying water from a well;
- pressure reducer;
- fine water filter;
- plastic pipes with a diameter of 16 - 18 mm;
- drip tubes or drip tape with splitters and droppers;
- taps, minicranes, tees, plugs, gaskets.
Plastic pipes are better for water supply, and flexible hoses for branching along the beds.
Tools necessary for the organization of work:
- spade and tape measure;
- pliers and scissors for plastic pipes;
- hammer drill and drill;
- pipe cutters;
- hole puncher;
- keys set.
Installation technology includes the following steps:
- Installing and securing the tank at a height of 1 - 2 meters, or connecting to a water supply system.
- On the main hose, you need to mark the holes for the joints with the drip tape. The holes are drilled. Install seals and fittings.
- In the sealant, the start-connector is mounted, which comes complete with a tap. The main hose is connected to the barrel. A cleaning filter is installed between the feed pipe and the tank.
- Drip tapes are arranged along the beds. One end is connected to the main pipe, a plug is installed on the other.
- With the help of tees, you can mount the branches for irrigation by drip of several beds.
Next, the tank must be filled with water and turn on the irrigation system.
Prior to installation, all devices must be flushed. During operation, the filters are cleaned once a week. After the season ends, the equipment is dismantled, washed, dried and stored until spring.
How to make drip irrigation with your own hands (video)
The drip irrigation system in the greenhouse greatly facilitates the work of gardeners and gardeners. The costs of its installation are negligible compared with the acquired benefits in the form of time savings and increased productivity.