Sub-Irrigation in a Greenhouse is an old book on greenhouse irrigation, it has been reprinted and you can purchase that copy by clicking on the picture on the left.
Here is an excerpt from the Author’s Introduction:
During the past few years, this subject has invited more or less attention. It was not until the past winter, however, that special investigation has revealed its true value. Personal interest in this subject was awakened through association with Prof. W. J. Green, Horticulturist of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, who was the first to recommend it to the public.
Interest was furthered by observations made through experimentation during the winter of ’91-’92 at the horticultural forcing-houses of Cornell University. In the latter place, a small greenhouse apartment was equipped especially for earring on experiments along this line. Unfortunately, no complete, tabulated data were procured on account of the burning of the plants, by neglect in smudging, one night towards the terminus of the experiment.
When constructing new forcing-houses at the Station here last fall, special arrangements were mads for continuing the experiment in order to determine, if possible, its value. “Sub-irrigation.’ This compound word is derived from the Latin preposition “sub,” which means under or below, and “irrigation,” from the Latin “irrigatio,” a sprinkling, a watering Sub-irrigation, therefore, is a sprinkling or watering from underneath the soil.
The effects of sub-irrigation upon plant growth in the greenhouse were first brought to notice when experimenting towards some efficient means of checking or exterminating the disease known as rot in lettuce. The truth or falsity of the theory that “frequent watering in the ordinary manner induces the disease” was arrived at by arranging to supply the plants with the requisite amount of water from beneath.
Watering in this manner through punctured pipes or porous tiles, which were underneath the soil, was at that time thought to be by no means a decided success in exterminating the lettuce rot; however, marked results were noticeable in that the sub-irrigated beds were more productive in vegetation than those watered in the ordinary manner.* From this as a starting point, the history of sub-irrigation in the greenhouse begins. Outside of those pursued in Ohio, we know of no other experiments undertaken in this line of investigation except our own.Sub Irrigation in the Greenhouse