For the first time we installed sensors in watermelon , subsoil humidity, temperature and conductivity probes to control irrigation.
Watermelon cultivation in Spain
Watermelon is a herbaceous plant with an annual cycle grown this time on an experimental farm located in El Ejido , Almería.
Spain is the country in the world that produces the largest amount of watermelon worldwide. It adapts well to the entire national territory, but prefers warm areas. In areas with fewer hours of sunlight, it does not accumulate the ideal amount of sugars that characterizes it.
Watermelon sensor irrigation
The watermelon crop we are talking about today uses the technique of plastic padding .
With this you get:
- Avoid the growth of weeds.
- Reduce the evaporation of water found in the soil by maintaining considerable humidity for longer in areas where there is high evaporation and perspiration.
- It benefits the development of the crop when there are extreme conditions of water and temperature.
- It allows it to have constant watering and thus avoid watermelon cracks.
The irrigation control with the sensors / probes in watermelon complements the mulch and measures soil moisture and conductivity, in such a way that the water that the crop needs remains uniform and notably benefits the quality of the fruit.
Probe installation methods
On the farm have been placed:
- Two wireless sensors, one of them at a depth of 30 cm and the other at a depth of 15 cm, both measuring in the last 5 cm.
- A hub / receiver where all measurements will be collected.
We carry out the controls every 4 hours . This gives the farm owner detailed information on his computer of the soil moisture status. Measurements facilitate decision-making when activating or not irrigation of the farm, generating a good crop production using the least amount of water possible.
Taking into account that we have a culture with plastic padding and that Plantae technology of wireless humidity and temperature sensors / probes has been added, it is very likely that;
- First that production is increased.
- Second the saving of water and energy.
- Also improve the quality.
And most importantly, we hope that this first step of controlled watermelon irrigation is only the beginning of the installation of new Plantae humidity sensors for this vast horticultural area.