In this interview with Patrick Henry, CEO and Dr. Jeff Campbell, GroGuru’s Chief Science Officer, they discuss how frequently your system should be flushed to prevent buildup. The GroGuru sensors monitor soil salinity and EC, and are easy to install. Contact us for a quote for your individual growing needs.
Patrick: This is hypothetical. I don’t know that it would be the exact case in a farmer’s situation. Let’s say that I’ve dialed it in. I’m optimally irrigating for soil moisture content. I’m starting to get salt build-up. Let’s say that a growth season is six months long. How frequently do you need to flush the system to make sure there isn’t salt build up or apply gypsum?
Jeff: Oftentimes, it’s currently done by rule of thumb. Our system allows you to say, “I can now track that in real time. I can only flush when I see salts build up to a certain level.” Let that guide your decision. It depends on the amount of natural rainfall, the quality of the water, and how well you’ve done on managing your irrigation.
Patrick: There are a lot of variables.
Jeff: There are a lot of variables. Right now, the answer that most farmers use is that they really don’t know. They have no way of seeing those conditions. They use a rule of thumb. Maybe they manage it three times a season with an intentional flush. We can guide that process.
Patrick: This is an area where the GroGuru solution really helps. Instead of guessing, you have real data and you can make decisions based on that.
Jeff: Right. We may tell you to flush more or less often, both of which help you. Either you avoid wasting water or you more effectively manage your salinity.
Patrick: As an outdoor grower, how do you know that you’re over irrigating?
Jeff: If you’re trying to manage irrigation for efficiency, you want to wet the upper profile or your soil consistently. You want to make sure that the lower soil depth near the bottom of the root zone never gets or exceeds field capacity. When that happens, water will move freely through the soil below that root zone.
Patrick: Then you’re wasting water.
Jeff: Yes. It’s gone. It will either end up in grown water or stream flow. Your plants won’t see that water. It’s carrying nutrients away with it as well.
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