Automatic Watering for Greenhouses

Overview

Greenhouses are small buildings that provide a controlled growing environment for plants. Greenhouses can be small and simple, but almost all need a watering system. Although small greenhouses can be watered by hand, consistent watering throughout the day may be required. An automatic watering system makes irrigation and easier task and may help regulate conditions inside the greenhouse.

When

Overwatering is a major issue in greenhouses. Consider when the plants need water and how much is required for adequate moisture, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension. Reduce flooding with well-draining soil. This makes finding the right amount of water easy. Enough water is needed to saturate the soil.

Systems

Add a watering system that includes time clocks and mechanical evaporation sensors to ensure your plants are receiving enough water at the right times of day, says the University of Maryland. Automatic timers require you to set the time when the plants are irrigated. Mechanical evaporation sensors determine when enough water has evaporated that another supply of water is required.

Types of Systems

Overhead nozzles with a circular pattern are common irrigation systems. Along with hand watering, this system is not as effective in maintaining an even coverage throughout the greenhouse. The University of Massachusetts recommends using a boom system. Boom systems contain one or more pipes that contain nozzles. The boom moves slowly over the plants, spraying water evenly throughout the greenhouse. A hose connected to the system supplies water.

Ventilation

Ventilation is required in the greenhouse to keep water from condensing and to keep air from becoming stagnant. Proper ventilation moves air from one end of the greenhouse to another and replaces air inside the greenhouse with outside air. This aids in the evaporation of water and prevents fungus from forming due to excess water being sprayed by the watering system.

Leaks

Check the watering system regularly for leaks. Leaks inside a greenhouse become dangerous breeders of fungi and other pathogen. Ensure the watering system is not over watering plants, flooding them and leaving too much condensation on the leaves. Clean up any standing pools of water.

Keywords: Automatic watering greenhouse, Greenhouse irrigation, Greenhouse watering system

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.