The black and green lines show substrate water content of lantanas, while the purple and blue line show Gaillardia data. The pink bars indicate irrigation.
Note that the decrease in substrate water content became much less following this change, suggesting that leaching was reduced.
One thing we noticed in the irrigation scheduling research (noted previously) was that there seemed to be a fair amount of leaching following irrigation.
Will Ross changed the irrigation in the house with the lantana and gaillardia from one 15-minute irrigation to two 8-minute irrigations, to try and reduce this leaching without reducing plant growth (production time) or quality from the increased amount of irrigation.
A screenshot of the Datatrac software used to monitor the sensors is at right, illustrating when the irrigation of lantana and gaillardia was changed, from one 15-minute period to two 8-minute periods (i.e. a cylic irrigation)
The much slower decrease in substrate water content after an irrigation suggest that this change in irrigation practices did indeed reduce leaching.