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Water Management and Quality for Specialty Crop Production and Health

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Project Description: 

Through this research project a variety of ornamental plants will be grown to assess how production practices can be improved through a series of experiments examining irrigation methods and volume, fertilizer quantity, substrate additives, and substrate components. Plant water needs will be assessed to understand how much irrigation is needed to produce good quality plants. This will provide growers with ways of improving irrigation applications by grouping plants by water needs and reducing irrigation applications when possible. Plant fertilizer needs will be assessed in a similar manner. By reducing fertilizer applications the amount of nutrients in the nursery or greenhouse runoff will be reduced lessening the environmental impact. Substrate components and additives will be assessed to further the body of knowledge on their impact on production with an emphasis on their impact on water applications, retention, and leaching and fertilizer retention and uptake.

Commercial Horticulture topics: 
Best Management Practices
Plant Nutrition
Soil Management
Water topics: 
Water Conservation
Water Resources