Determination of irrigation requirements of nursery plants is becoming more important as the nursery growers are being challenged to conserve water and minimize runoff while meeting plant water needs. Historically, not enough attention has been given to the measurement of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and crop coefficients (Kc) of ornamental plants for irrigation scheduling, water management, and allocation. Since measurement of Kc is a difficult and time consuming task, especially for the container-grown ornamentals, there is a need to develop methods for estimating Kc from more easily obtainable variables. The ETc and Kc values of Viburnum odoratissimum (Ker.-gawl) grown in white and black Multi-Pot Box System (MPBS) were measured in two growing seasons (summer and fall). The relationship between the Kc and week after transplanting (WAT), growth index (GI), cumulative reference evapotranspiration (ETo), and fraction of thermal units (FTU) were developed and analyzed to find out whether these parameters could be used as the base scales to estimate Kc values. The measured ETc ranged from 308 mm for the black MPBS plants in summer to 351 mm for the white MPBS plants in fall. Good relationships between Kc versus WAT, GI, cumulative ETo, and FTU were observed in both seasons (r2 ≥ 0.93). These relationships were explained by third order polynomial equations in both growing seasons. Specifically, GI and FTU values were found to be very useful, practical, and effective base scales in estimating Kc from transplanting to physiological maturity (marketable size) of V. odoratissimum. The relationships between the Kc versus base scale variables were significantly affected by the season. Thus, the equations developed are season-specific and should be used accordingly. The season-specific characteristic of the equations was attributed to the differences in growth rates (exponential in summer and linear in fall) of the plants grown in the white and black MPBS in the summer and fall seasons. Equations developed to estimate Kc would have advantages over the traditional method of estimating Kc from measured ETc and ETo for nursery crops since, in practice, measuring and/or estimating WAT, GI, ETo, and FTU are easier than measuring ETc and Kc. Experimentally derived Kc values and relationships developed in this study add useful information to the nursery growers, researchers and water management districts in terms of collection of ETc and Kc data that can be utilized for irrigation scheduling and water resources planning and management, and are among the first ETc and Kc data for the V. odoratissimum.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Applied Engineering in Agriculture|
|State||Published - May 2005|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes