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An Automatic Irrigation Control System for Soilless Culture of Lettuce

Liu, Zhigang, Xu, Qinchao
Water 2018 v.10 no.11
computer software, developmental stages, drainage, evapotranspiration, irrigation management, irrigation water, lettuce, models, rhizosphere, soilless culture, spring, summer, water conservation, water content, water use efficiency
To achieve precise measurement of moisture content in the substrate and intelligent water-saving irrigation, a simple and low cost automatic irrigation control system based on ZigBee wireless network has been developed. A software with irrigation strategy was proposed based on the models of substrate wetting pattern, lettuce root zone and the evapotranspiration. The system could detect substrate moisture in real-time and irrigate automatically according to the threshold of substrate and the irrigation strategy. The average fresh weight per plant under intelligent irrigation are 16.60% and 11.37% higher than manual control irrigation at least in different growth stages in spring and summer, the average drainage rate of intelligent irrigation is 16.08% and 17.06% smaller than manual control irrigation in spring and summer, and the irrigation water use efficiency of intelligent irrigation is 68.03% and 98.61% higher than manual control irrigation in spring and summer. The results show that the system is a promising tool for scientific and rational irrigation decision.