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Effects of slope and underlay on surface runoff of irrigation from woven polypropylene groundcloth

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Woven polypropylene groundcloth is used extensively in plant nurseries as a permeable and durable surface for container plant production. To better understand the fate of overhead sprinkler irrigation water, we designed and constructed runoff platforms (2.7 m2) to measure runoff and leachate from single irrigation events as affected by slope and underlay substrates. Groundcloth-covered platforms at slopes of 1.5% and 11% were tested with each of five underlay treatments: no underlay, coarse sand, 50% coarse sand and 50% no underlay (CS50), gravel, and native sandy soil. We applied 0.9 cm of irrigation at 1.8 cm.h(-1) and determined runoff and leachate volumes. Runoff percentage [runoff x 100%/(runoff + leachate)] increased at the 11% slope for each underlay treatment. Mean (n=10) runoff percentages (RP) for the 1.5% and 11% slopes were 0.5% and 15.7%, respectively, for no underlay, 0.1% and 1.1% for coarse sand, 0.1% and 0.7% for CS50, 0.7% and 2.5% for gravel, and 0.1% and 3.1% for native sandy soil. The low RP observed indicate that a high percentage of nutrients and agrichemicals associated with container leachate would move into the underlying substrate or soil rather than directly running off into surface waters.
Million, J. , Yeager, T. , Bryant, H. , Larsen, C. , Shook, J. , Albano, J.
Includes references
HortTechnology 2005 Oct-Dec, v. 15, no. 4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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