Manual Watering: Most of the greenhouses are watered manually using a hose and an appropriate nozzle. One advantage of manual greenhouse watering is that you can pay attention to individual plants and provide water accordingly.
Manual watering also provides you an opportunity to evaluate the condition of the plant when you go about watering.
However if the size of the greenhouse is large or if you have a lot of plans in your greenhouse, then manually watering them may be time consuming.
Overhead Sprinkler: Installing and operating overhead sprinklers is very easy and convenient. The only disadvantage with the sprinkler system is the usage of excess water. Water gets sprinkled on non growing areas and on plant leafs. This makes the area around the plants wet. This also causes higher humidity levels thus increasing the chances of plant disease.
Drip Irrigation System: Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient greenhouse watering systems for watering the plants.
It helps in keeping the non growing areas dry so that you can continue to work while the plants get water.
The drip system can be capillary tubes to each pot or drip tape for ground bed. This system needs to be observed closely to ensure it works properly.
Regular maintenance is required to keep proper flow of water from the emitters.
The drip system is one of the easiest water systems to assemble. However it requires a lot of effort to set it up. This is especially true if drip emitters have to be installed for each of the individual pots in the greenhouse.
Capillary Mats: The capillary mat system offers one of the most efficient ways to water plants in a greenhouse.
The core of capillary mats is made of highly absorbent fiber, normally felt. This absorbent material is laid on top of polyethylene sheet. The top of the mat is a perforated film.
The capillary mats are placed on bench tops so that they can water the plants from below.
Pots are placed on top of the mat. When the mat is watered it gets wicked up and through the growing medium.
This way the plants get consistent supply of water. This system ensures that the plants are neither too wet nor too dry.
Ebb And Flow Benches: The Ebb and flow benches also deliver water to the plants from below. This system consists of ebb and flood trays and ebb and flood tables. This system utilizes flooding of the ebb and flow trays.
Once the plants are watered the irrigation water is removed from the ebb and flow trays using a special drainage or is re-circulated.
This process gets repeated at regular intervals depending upon the watering requirements of the plants.
Hydroponics Irrigation System: This greenhouse watering system uses water and nutrient solution to grow plants without the use of soil.
In this system the plants are provided the exact nutrients they need to grow. The nutrients are fed directly to the root base.
Almost all plants can grow hydroponically. However certain plants grow better with this system compared with others.
This system of irrigation is best suited for plants that bear fruits like tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, leafy crops like lettuce, herbs and other flowing plants.
This type of system requires more monitoring time and more attention to operate. You also need to do proper mixing and adjustment of nutrients. All this leads to more system complexity.
Fertigation: In this irrigation system soluble fertilizers are mixed in the water that is delivered to the plants. There are many devices available that can help you to do this.
An inexpensive way to do this is to use a proportioner that can be added between the faucet and a hose.
A tube from the proportioner can go into a bucket containing fertilizer concentrate.
When water moves through the proportioner it will siphon some fertilizer concentrate and mix it with water that goes to the irrigation hose.
Another way to achieve this is to use fertilizers injectors. The injectors pump the fertilizer concentrate into the irrigation water.
These fertilizer injectors are more accurate than proportioners. These injectors are more useful when the number of plants and the volume of water increase.