Monday, November 8, 2010

The Couve Story: Before planting

Before planting, we installed the usual gear. Wetting front detectors went in at 30, 50 and 70 cm depths directly below drip emitters. We had reason to believe from the previous beetroot crop that a lot of water might be going past the root zone on this sandy soil, hence the deep placement of detectors.

Extra detectors were installed and converted to electronic, so we could log the time water arrived at 30 and 50 cm depths and the electrical conductivity of the draining water. In the picture above I am placing a home made electrode down into the wetting front detector.

Watermark sensors were installed at 20 and 40 cm depths and these, together with the EC sensors, were connected up to a logger situated in the belly of the scarecrow on the right.

Now we were ready to take all the usual measurements. We knew the amount of water going on (scroll back to the Beetroot experiment to see the crude flow meter). We could measure how depth the water penetrated and take water samples for nitrate and salt measurement from the wetting front detector, and we logged to soil water suction.

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