DRIP IRRIGATION FOR COURGETTES

The courgette (Cucurbita pepo L. ) is a species with high water requirements: belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family and, as such, native to the warm regions of southern Asia and Central America.

It is, in fact, a macro-therm species with a vegetation optimum of 18-20°C at night and 25-30 °C during the day. The plant’s herbaceous consistency, its mostly shallow root system, and its expanded leaves also give an idea of how indispensable water is to compensate for the high evapotranspiration losses the plant is subjected to during its vegetative-productive cycle.

In addition, more than 90% of the peponide (the term for the fruit of the Cucurbitaceae) is water.

Water requirement and efficient irrigation system for courgette

The annual irrigation needs of courgettes are around 3,000-5,000 m3/ha, depending on the length of the growing cycle (three-five months), the climate and the average production (from 20 t/ha to more than 80 t/ha).

The cropping pattern also plays a crucial role in the irrigation needs of courgettes: for example, compared to open field cultivation where the density is 1-1.5 plants/m2 with a production of 20-40 t/ha, in protected cultivation the density is higher (generally two plants/m2) using vertical training on supports (canes, wires).

In the second case, water and nutrient requirements increase, production per plant decreases but yield per unit area increases (from 50 to over 80 t/ha) as the volume of the greenhouse is exploited. undoubtedly drip irrigation, using light drip hoses with small spacings between the drip points and low flow rates laid under the mulch fabric.

Among its wide range of products, Irritec recommends the lightweight continuous-labyrinth drip line Irritec TapeTM.

For water that is extremely “difficult” to filter, Irritec offers “eXXtreme Tape®”, the continuous labyrinth drip line that retains all the characteristics of Irritec Tape, and also provides excellent filtration performance for sediment-laden water.

Although not self-compensating, Irritec Tape and Irritec eXXtreme Tape have a unique labyrinth design that allows high lengths to be achieved with excellent uniform performance even during fertigation cycles

Filtration of water for cougette irrigation

The filtration of irrigation water is an essential operation for the correct management of the irrigation system. The use of light drip lines operating at low or very low pressures and with low flow rates implies the use of filters upstream of the irrigation system with a precise degree of filtration.

A filtration of 120 mesh is recommended, reaching 155 mesh in the case of flow rates of 0.60 l/h and 10 cm spacing.

Fertigation and water quality

The courgette is a fairly hardy species among the cucurbits. Nevertheless, we need to pay careful attention to the irrigation water quality, trying to monitor the two main parameters (EC and pH).

Courgettes benefit from irrigation water that is not too saline (overall salinity index less than 1.5-1.7 mS/cm) and a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. This is why, in addition to choosing the most suitable drip line, it is a good idea to select a fertigation system suited to the farm’s characteristics.

A suitable solution for courgette fertigation is the Ferticlick® ByPass. For medium to large farms, automation of the irrigation system can also be useful. Irritec® automation systems, such as the Commander EVO® line programmers, let the operator manage several independent irrigation programmes at the same time.

They can operate multiple fertiliser injection channels (time, volume, flow proportional, pH and EC set) and automate filter backwashing operations, etc. The three Commander EVO models (Basic, Plus, Gold) are also equipped with radio remote controls, which can also be managed remotely using software with internet access.

Cougettes Growing - Irrigation System irritec

A practical example of how to drip irrigate courgettes:

Irrigation system design Irritec

Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate courgettes

1

P1® – P5® – Irritec Tape®

High-quality hoses with turbulent flow dripper designed for open-field irrigation. Easy to lay and install, they have excellent occlusion resistance. They are available in various models capable of covering more than 600 metres.

Driplines for Courgettes, Drip irrigation Irritec

2

LAYFLAT PIPING AND FITTINGS

Single-ply PVC flexible pipeline reinforced with a high-strength fabric that is easy to handle and store. Facilitates end-of-season operations for irrigation systems that need to be moved quickly and safely. Lightweight and flexible yet durable, it reduces installation costs and recovery time. Easy to cut and equipped with a wide range of connections makes the layflat pipe system an indispensable accessory for drip irrigation of tomatoes. Available from 2.4 to 6 bar, in all commercial diameters from 1 1/2″ to 8″

Pipes, irrigation. Courgettes

3

METAL FILTERS

Irritec® metal filters are robust and durable. They can manage a wide range of flow rates. Manual or automatic models are available for canal and well water applications.

Filters for courgettes irrigation

4

FERTIGATION

Irritec® injection systems are reliable and easy to use. They allow the injection of fertilisers (liquid or diluted in water) at rates of between 150 l/h and 1700 l/h (depending on the model).

Fertigation System Courgettes - Irritec

5

DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Complete range for connecting tape, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.

COURGETTES DRIPLINE FITTINGS AND BRANCHES

Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.