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In agriculture, subirrigation, also known as seepage irrigation, is a method of irrigation where water is delivered to the plant root zone from below the soil surface and absorbed upwards. The excess may be collected for reuse.
Three basic types of subirrigation system are in general use for potted plants in greenhouses: ebb-and-flow (bench-mounted enclosures holding pots are filled and then drained); trough (water is flowed through bench-mounted, slightly sloping enclosures containing pots); and flooded floor (special sloped concrete flooring is flooded and drained).
Greenhouse subirrigation has been growing in popularity since the 1990s. Advantages are water and nutrient conservation, and labor-saving. The outfitting cost is relatively high. Potential problems, such as the possibility of increased presence of disease in recycle water, have only begun to be investigated.
One of the disadvantages of subirrigated closed systems, such like Earth Boxes and sub-irrigated planters, is that soluble salts cannot be flushed into the lower soil profile and build up over time.
- Csizinszky, A.A. (1998). "The Potential For The Sequential Production Of Vegetables In The Field With The ‘Earth Box’ System". Acta Hortic. 513: 137–144. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.1998.513.16. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Manual Monitoring of Farm Water Tables - University of Florida IFAS Extension
- Irrigated Acreage in Florida: A Summary through 1998 - University of Florida IFAS Extension
- Efficiencies of Florida Agricultural Irrigation Systems - describes field subirrigation systems as used in Florida
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