Impact of biocontainers with and without shuttle trays on water use in the production of a containerized ornamental greenhouse crop

Michael R. Evans, Andrew K. Koeser, Guihong Bi, Susmitha Nambuthiri, Robert Geneve, Sarah Taylor Lovell, J. Ryan Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nine commercially available biocontainers and a plastic control were evaluated at Fayetteville, AR, and Crystal Springs, MS, to determine the irrigation interval and total water required to grow a crop of ‘Cooler Grape’ vinca (Catharanthus roseus) with or without the use of plastic shuttle trays. Additionally, the rate at which water passed through the container wall of each container was assessed with or without the use of a shuttle tray. Slotted rice hull, coconut fiber, peat, wood fiber, dairy manure, and straw containers were constructed with waterpermeable materials or had openings in the container sidewall. Such properties increased the rate of water loss compared with more impermeable bioplastic, solid rice hull, and plastic containers. This higher rate of water loss resulted in most of the biocontainers having a shorter irrigation interval and a higher water requirement than traditional plastic containers. Placing permeable biocontainers in plastic shuttle trays reduced water loss through the container walls. However, irrigation demand for these containers was still generally higher than that of the plastic control containers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalHortTechnology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Biocontainers
  • Bioplastic
  • Cowpots
  • Peat pots
  • Rice pots
  • Straw pots
  • Vinca

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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