Greenhouse irrigation and watering system for growers

As a greenhouse grower, your primary goal is to deliver constant and superior product quality, not only to satisfy your standards but also to meet the demands of your valued customers. One crucial element in achieving this objective is an indispensable resource: water. To effectively harness the potential of water to enhance crop yields, an efficient and suitable irrigation system is of utmost importance.

Choosing the right irrigation system can be daunting, considering the myriad options available. Some systems may increase the risk of diseases or uneven plant growth and flowering, while others need to be economically viable for your specific cultivation. In this complex landscape, making well-informed decisions can prove to be challenging.

Greenhouse watering system part of a bigger picture

The greenhouse watering system or irrigation system is an important part of the greenhouse. But it is part of a bigger picture. 

  1. It starts with collection enough water for your plants. You could do it with Water basins and silo's. 
  2. Then you need to pump the water to the greenhouse. But before you do that, it is important to get the right quality of water with filtration. (read here more). 
  3. The next step is watering the plants with the irrigation system. 
  4. To have enough water in future it is important to collect the water again. 
  5. To reuse the water, you should check the quality and diseases. 

Do you want to know how we do this for our customers? Look at this website or download the leaflet below. 


1. Greenhouse watering system: Drip irrigation system greenhouse

Drip irrigation involves the precise delivery of water directly to plants through a network of pipes, tubing, and individual drippers. 

1.1. Advantages drip irrigation (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Precise and efficient watering.
•    Minimal water and nutrient wastage.
•    Reduced risk of disease.
•    Weed control.
•    Suitable for various crops, especially long-term ones like tree nurseries.

1.2. Disadvantages drip irrigation (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Drippers can clog and require maintenance.
•    Uneven root growth if not properly positioned.
•    Labor-intensive installation and removal of drippers.
•    High upfront investment.
•    Requires a good pumping unit and filters.

Drip irrigation system in greenhouse

2. Greenhouse watering system: Water booms

Water booms deliver overhead irrigation to crops by adjusting travel speed and nozzle size for precise watering. This system allows for even distribution and is easily automated, making it suitable for various greenhouse setups.

2.1. Advantages water booms (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Precise and even watering.
•    Easy automation.
•    Flexible placement of different pot sizes and plant species.
•    Water delivered directly to the plug or plant.

2.2. Disadvantages water booms (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Challenging to meet water demands on hot days.
•    Initial installation cost and operator expertise required.
•    Increased risk of disease due to wet foliage.
•    Requires flat subsurface and proper drainage.

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Water booms for growers

3.Greenhouse watering system: Ebb and Flood Irrigation

Ebb and flood irrigation involves flooding the floor to deliver water from below, promoting even watering and healthy root distribution. The water can be reclaimed or drained based on the setup.

3.1. Advantages ebb and flood irrigation (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Even watering for uniform, high-quality crops.
•    Reduced disease pressure as foliage stays dry.
•    Suitable for plants with high crowns.
•    Watering can be done at any time.
•    Water and fertilizer can be collected and reused.

3.2. Disadvantages ebb and flood irrigation (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    High installation costs.
•    Potential salinization of potting soil.
•    Requires a large pumping capacity.
•    Requires precise layout and arrangement.
•    Slow watering process for individual plants.

4. Greenhouse watering system: Irrigation sprinklers

Irrigation sprinklers spray water to cover a designated area, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor crops.

4.1. Advantages sprinklers (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Relatively inexpensive.
•    Suitable for sloping terrains.
•    Easy installation.

4.2. Disadvantages  sprinklers (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Inefficient on hot days due to water evaporation.
•    Variable water collection potential.
•    Increased heating requirements for indoor crops.
•    Uneven distribution in windy conditions.
•    Risk of leaf diseases due to wet foliage.
•    High water consumption and waste.

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Irrigation system sprinklers

5. Greenhouse watering system: Capillary Mat

Capillary mats saturate the substrate of plants from below, ensuring a steady water supply.

5.1. Advantages of capillary mat (for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Dry foliage reduces disease pressure.
•    Inexpensive and easy to construct.
•    Low maintenance.
•    Reduced water evaporation.
•    Some water can be reused.

5.2. Disadvantages of capillary mat(for indoor and outdoor crops):

•    Potential salt buildup in the mat.
•    Requires a level cultivation surface.
•    Limited automation options.
•    Increased heating requirements for indoor use.
•    Susceptible to algae growth.
•    Relatively short lifespan.

6. Compare different irrigation systems in horticulture

We wrote three different blog post to compare irrigation systems. You can read them by clicking below. 

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7. Irrigation systems for nurseries [Outdoor Fields

The three different irrigation systems most commonly used by growers with outdoor fields are: Sprinklers, Water Booms, and Ebb/Flood Systems. Sometimes, growers also use drip irrigation. In this blog post, we share our views on these systems as they relate to nurseries with outdoor fields.

8. The right integration with the water system

You can't have problems with the integration between your water system and your irrigation system. Here at ErfGoed, we completely understand this, and that's why we provide growing solutions that bring both aspects together. Our ErfGoedFloor and ErfGoedWaterSystem are a perfect match. This ensures top-notch water control, like having the right pumps and filters that perfectly complement the ErfGoedFloor. If you're interested, we'd love to share more details about the different aspects of our water systems.

Read more about the ErfGoedWaterSystem.