Interior of a Production House at Neals Mill farm, showing container production of Gardenia plants under overhead irrigation.
McCorkle Nurseries is among the largest nurseries in Georgia, producing over 4,000,000 plants per year, in containers ranging from 1 to 15 gallons in size.
Production focuses on woody plants and herbaceous perennials. Plants are produced in two locations, the Luckey’s Bridge and Neals Mill farms. The Luckey’s Bridge farm alone requires up to 3 – 4 million gallons of water per day.
The UGA research is located on the Neals Mill farm, where two different projects are ongoing. The first project is a comparative study looking at irrigation water use of gardenia when irrigated according to ’standard’ practices as compared to soil moisture sensor-controlled irrigation. See the McCorkle current results page for more information.
The second research project uses a wireless Decagon network to monitor substrate water content in various crops. Data collection is also focused on gardenia, because of the potential benefits of improved irrigation practices for this crop. See the McCorkle's Network page for a full description.