Aboveground Container or Pot-in-Pot Production
Capillary mat systems could be replaced with a flood system ( ebb and flow system) that circulates water and nutrients to the plants, allows them to drain, and repeats again at regular intervals. A pump floods the floor and then water drains back into a tank.
Individual emitters or spray stakes of one type or another are also good for watering containers (see Container Emitters diagram).
A ¾ in. polyethylene supply pipe runs lengthwise down the rows of containers. Small diameter tubes are inserted into the pipe and have a spray stake or emitter at the other end. The spray stake or emitter is inserted into the container and distributes water over the container surface. Spray stakes spread the water over more surface area for more even wetting in larger pots.
Larger, wider-spaced containers (e.g. in pot-in-pot systems) are prime candidates for applying trickle irrigation in place of overhead sprinklers. Usually, the ratio of container surface area to total ground area is smaller and the water savings greater for wider-spaced containers.
Some ongoing studies suggest better substrate wetting using slow application rates to allow the water to spread laterally through the substrate.