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Ball Tech On Demand: Training Your Team to Water Properly

Dr. Will Healy, Ball Senior Technical Services Manager, explains why a grower's job is to dry plants to the correct moisture. He covers managing water loss, the water knowledge pyramid and the five levels of water. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company

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Ball Tech On Demand: Training Your Team to Water Properly

  1. 1. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Train Your Team to Water Properly Will Healy Senior Technical & Research Manager Ball Horticultural Company
  2. 2. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company A Grower’s Job is to Dry Plants to the Correct Moisture Training Issue Growers with nothing to do Water! Pencil Watering -> Plan What to Do Next Day
  3. 3. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Dr Will, Dr Will Help me please - I suffer from….. PWS!* Paranoid Watering Syndrome Pay to Water
  4. 4. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Fish grow in Water Roots grow in Air
  5. 5. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Water Knowledge Pyramid When to Water-How Dry? How Much to Water Where to Water Plant Demand Language of Watering W1-W5 ClimateQualitative aka Opinion based Quantitative aka Data based
  6. 6. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Does Soil Breath? Water in-Air out Water out-Air in What is this?? What are you trying to do??
  7. 7. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Does Soil Breath? Water in-Air out Water out-Air in What is this?? What are you trying to do?? 5 3 1
  8. 8. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company ‘Tools of the Trade’ 0.4-1 GPM 0.94-1.6 GPM 1.6-3.2 GPM
  9. 9. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company ‘Tools of the Trade’ 0.4-1 GPM 0.94-1.6 GPM 1.6-3.2 GPM ‘Tools of the Trade’
  10. 10. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company ‘Tools of the Trade’ 0.4-1 GPM 0.94-1.6 GPM 1.6-3.2 GPM ‘Tools of the Trade’
  11. 11. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Watering Technique Vol*speed = Qty/cell 3 5-33-5 5
  12. 12. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Starts with Your Water Tunnel Uniformly add water to start germination process ❖ Pressure & gpm per nozzle ❖ Number of nozzles → N1 = glue seed or settle URC → N2 = moisture around seed or URC-soil contact → N3+ = moisture in soil
  13. 13. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Silly 100 gm Does Make a Difference!
  14. 14. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Watering vs Flooding ❖ Day 0-5 key period ❖ Irrigation speed ❖ ‘Grit’ is critical
  15. 15. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Water by Weight ❖Better plotting, more attention ❖Less stretched plants (also fertilizer) ❖Calculation day and night losses ❖Record weight after watering
  16. 16. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company
  17. 17. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company
  18. 18. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Pyramid Level 4 Where to Water ❖3-Dimensional Space! ➢Edge ➢Middle ➢Depth W2-3 W5-2 W3-5W4-5 Highly Branched Root System Top Horizontal Root System Water Root System Vertical Root System
  19. 19. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Watering Success ➢ Saturate to a level 4 (bottom drip) ➢ Dry to a level 2 ❖ Train your watering pattern to a 4-2 ➢ It’s the drying that promotes rooting ➢ Water to get to the next dry point ❖ Draw the roots to the bottom of the container.
  20. 20. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Drying out a cell ❖ Drying out a cell is due to evaporation of the water from the soil ❖ Water loss is sigmoidal over time ➢ Incremental loss is slowest at level 5 & 1 ➢ Incremental loss is linear with time at level 4-2 ❖ If water loss is 200-300 g per day then the loss of 800 g (level 4➔2) will take 2-4 days.
  21. 21. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company What drives water loss from the container? Night Water Loss ➢ 200+ gm – Rapid drying ➢ 100-200 gm – Ideal ➢ 50-100 gm – Too wet issues ➢ < 50 gm – Tip abortion A B ❖ ET 1. Evaporation 2. Transpiration ➔ Change in tray weight will predict the ET rate ➢ Weigh the same container in afternoon & morning. ➢ Night ET = afternoon-morning ➢ Day ET = morning-afternoon
  22. 22. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Managing Water Loss ❖ How much water (weight) is lost each day? ❖ How much water (weight) is lost each night? ❖ How much water weight must I add to reach the target weight tomorrow? ❖ How much water weight must I add to get water to the bottom of the cell or pot? ❖ It’s not the how wet or dry but how long does it take to get to the next watering time
  23. 23. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company Water Knowledge Pyramid When to Water-How Dry? How Much to Water Where to Water Plant Demand Language of Watering W1-W5 Climate Qualitative & Quantitative Set Your Dry Target Set Your Wet Target Drive the Roots Down VPD Drives Water Loss Each Stage Right Target
  24. 24. Copyright 2020 Ball Horticultural Company More Resources: View the full slideshow (and many more) at: https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins STEM Podcast: The Language of Watering Part One - https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/the-language-of-watering/ STEM Podcast: The Language of Watering Part Two - https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/watering-the-rest-of-the-story/ Ball Seed LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co Greenhouse Tech Team Closed Group: Search Greenhouse Tech Team on Facebook Groups

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