Nursery Water requirements

Determining nursery water requirements

Before a new nursery is established, it is essential to estimate or calculate the water requirements for all potential water-management purposes. This can be done either by consulting tables showing the average water requirements in various regions or by obtaining climatic data from a station at or near the proposed nursery site and computing seasonal and annual water requirements.

Water requirements from table

The average amount of water needed to produce forest tree nursery in any region is approximately similar to that needed for agricultural crops, so the tables giving the average annual irrigation requirements of agricultural crops may be obtained from local agricultural extension agencies.

Water requirements from climatic data

Computing the water requirements of a bare root nursery from climatic data recorded at or near the nursery site is preferable to relying on annual tables used for agricultural crops. To do this, it is best to obtain due monthly means of precipitation and temperature for as many previous years as possible, or at least for mean and extremely dry years.

The amount of water required to maintain nursery soil is within an optimum range of available soil moisture levels throughout the growing season each year. The irrigation needed for a given bare root nursery can readily be estimated by water balances for all years in the past by the Thornthwate method.

Thornthwate formulae = 1/6 (10 t/I)a

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