Irrigation in the nursery; how much water do I need?

Irrigation in the nursery; how much water do I need?

Irrigation in the nursery; how much water do I need?

Aug 30, 2022 11:02:38 AM

Not having enough water is disastrous for crop growth. Every grower knows that. But when do you have enough water? As an entrepreneur, you look ahead and want guarantees for the future, also when it comes to water availability.

In this blog, we help you to map out several issues so that you will not be faced with any surprises in the future!

Applications of water

To determine the amount of water needed, it is important to list the applications for which you use water in your nursery. Only for crop growth, production, cleaning, climate (air humidity or cooling), or as a heat carrier (for heating, among other things)?

Type of crop

Exactly how much water is needed for crop growth depends, among other things, on the type of crop. Determine the maximum amount of water the plant can absorb under extreme conditions. Also, take into account any future plans, for example, new crops.

Size of the greenhouse; now and in the future

Not only is the current greenhouse size important in determining the amount of water needed, but also plans for future expansion. "Take future plans into account," says Corné Verduijn, water technology specialist at ErfGoed. "It's a shame if you, as a grower, have to adapt everything again later because you want to connect an extra acre of greenhouse to your water system."


In many countries, periods of heavy rainfall and dry spells are reasonably predictable. The only problem is that sometimes it rains very hard, so you cannot use all the water. As a result, a lot of precious water is lost. "We always look closely at the climate together with a grower," indicates Corné Verduijn. "What are the driest periods, and what is the best way to endure them? For example, do you need water storage for the duration of this entire period, or do you look at the possibilities of getting (rain) water from the surrounding area after a few weeks?"


Are you reusing all the available water? What percentage of the water you use to water your crop is absorbed by the plant, and what percentage evaporates? We find that, on average, the plant takes up 15% of the water (or evaporates)(with an ErfGoedFloor).
In addition, this report showed that two percent of the water leaks into the greenhouse. By the way, this is not a floor that leaks. It is advisable to prevent this from happening, but it does not always work. Calculate this percentage.

Use a margin

Every year is different. Therefore it is always good to have a certain margin when it comes to the amount of water needed. How large the margin should be depends on the situation in the nursery and/or whether there are other ways to obtain water besides your water storage.

Want to read more about water? Download the white paper below.

Download Whitepaper about water management for growers