Green Shield nursery is well recognised within the nursery industry for many of the unique innovation that we have designed, tested and installed at our facility.
The static wind breaks and hedges designed to precise detail that protect from the wind and control humidity.
The irrigation system installed is found in no other nursery in Australia and is the corner stone of our water conservation success.
The water collection and recycling system has been quoted as “one of the best examples seen” and is highly recommended to other industry members and other businesses to emulate.
The unique trellis tie up system that was developed at Green Shield for the purpose of tying trees safely, securely with no damage to developing new trees trunks.
Innovative Irrigation System:
Great southern irrigation assisted in designing the irrigation system, pumping requirements, the type of computer control system needed and pipe works.
- The facility installed a two wire computer operated system that was originally designed for golf courses. The reason we choose this was because of its versatility in being able to control an unlimited number of valves, start times and in a varied order if required.
- The controller when linked to a weather station can be programmed with watering values that determine after rain fall which crops require water.
- A radio controlled moisture sensing system was install to determine water values in various stages of crop growth and conducted over twelve month period to determine crop values. (This produced some amazing results in determining plant water requirements and the time of day needed to provide water). Once crop values where determined for each season they where programmed into the computer. Which then analyses rain fall if any and irrigates to specific plant needs.
- Omni operated valves when irrigating a crop maintain a constant pressure so as the total crop is grown with no variation in quality.
- Automatic self cleaning filtration system.
- Calcium hypochlorite treatment system.
- Variable drive three phase pressure control system.
- Three choice pots sprays are used to water all plants individually.
- The system designed is so efficient that no hoses are needed to be used in summer.
- A unique watering arm is installed to water plants as they come off the assembly line which recycles back to the main dam. This eliminated the need for hoses also.
- The Green Shield irrigation system is so well designed we quite possibly are the only nursery known that do not use hand watering.
Green Shield conducted feasibility trials on their prior facility for recycling water 15 years ago. From thoughts results we built the current facility. Green Shield nursery is almost 100% recycling and self sustaining.
- All plant growing area bays where shaped to remove water to a central drain point.
- A trench was dug to remove water to the drainage system.
- All bays and trenches where then lined with 200um virgin black plastic and sealed.
- From the bays central drain point Ag drains where placed in sealed plastic lined trenches back to drainage system.
- 100mm of granite screenings were placed in bays for plants to be placed on.
- All bays, work much like sink. Water is collected and returned to the drainage system.
- No water delivered by the irrigation system comes into contact with soil.
- Concrete drainage system collects water from the bays and delivers it to a swirl pond.
- From the swirl pond it passes thru wet land plants which remove nitrogen, then though a rock filter into a settlement pond where water is released slowly back into the main dam.
- Irrigation water is treated and filtered and return clean back to the nursery.
- All rain water collected off roofs at the facility is used for drinking and irrigating the various garden beds.
- The nursery is over 11 hectares in size and because of the design it harvests water from rain much the same as roofs. For every 100mm of rain fall the nursery collects 1.1 Megs of water and returns it to the main dam.
Although the system installed was extremely expensive it requires very little maintenance.
Green Shield does not value its water savings efforts in monitory returns. The nursery association has noted our efforts numerous times to the industry and it is encouraging to see more and more people coming to see us and learn how to copy what we have done.
We are not deriving water from a water provider. Our facility has proven to thoughts that are if they build or alter their facility they too can make a difference to water conservation and save money in the process.
Wind Breaks hedging and trellises system:
Wind breaks and hedging are a very important part of the Green Shield nursery facility. They protect it from the wind, stops plants drying out, improved plant health, stop wind blowing over plants which creates damage and unnecessary work, helps to maintain humidity levels and provides privacy for us and for the neighbours. Although wind is either a breeze, strong, a gale or gustily people do not realize its full destructive powers it has in a nursery.
Static Wind Breaks:
In designing the static wind breaks trials where conducted using various product for engineering strength, durability and performance. Working on a system that works with the wind and not against it was our goal.
- Engineering commutation where done in order to determine thickness of poles, height, depth to be placed and most of all spacing.
- The stronger the wind the more tonnage of pressure per pole.
It would be easy to increase spacing to save money but wind at its full potential hits with a punch which may bend a pole in the ground or break, costing a lot more to repair or replace.
- A 75% woven shade cloth material was used to be able to allow some air to get though. Green Shield had a manufacture sow a pocket into the bottom and top of the cloth as to allow 2.8mm wire to be passed though and strained between poles.
- In order for the cloth to be strained, Green Shield had specially shaped gal rods made and placed in pockets made from seat belt material for strength at one end of each run.
- Batons where placed over the cloth on each of the poles to stop bellowing.
- Poles where concreted in. The top of the concrete was deemed to allow water running down the pole to not pool and rot the bottom.
- The biggest secrete to our wind break success was the gripple designed for the fencing industry. This relatively new in expensive devise is place one on each wire strain. The gripple acts much like a fuse for this application; gusty wind comes through with a punch which creates most damage. The gripple gives and release tension, so as not to let the wires break. There after it is a simple twitch up with the gripple tool. Fixed.
- The hedging that is used extensively around the nursery is pittosporum silver sheen. Grows to a maximum height of 5mts, is a thick screen for privacy, allows air to pass though and is drought tolerant.
- Aids in keeping humidity up and stops plants drying out.
The trellis system installed was fully designed by Green Shield nursery and is unique.
A number of vital elements had to be considered in developing a system that could support trees and stop them falling over, getting damaged and missing out on their watering requirements, which in turn affects the overall quality.
- A system that secure trees in a set position.
- A system that would not damage trees.
- A system that would tolerate wind and give in windy conditions.
- A system that would have longevity.
- A system that would be easy to tie up and untie.
- A system that met OH&S standards.
- A system that would maintain quality.
A number of commercially made products. None met our requirement to be able to secure over 80,000 trees.
- 40mm galvanized pipe was cut to required length, cut, caped and drilled to hold the top cable and pushed into the ground.
- PVC coated cable is used to hold the trees.
- Placed at distances between trees that allowed staff to be able to maintain individual attention to each and every tree, rubber ties at set cut lengths where attached to tie tree to top cable.
- Using rubber allows the trees to move and grow without damage to their trunks.
- The system although simple in design is very affective. Saving time, money and damage.
The system is a vital part of Green Shield Nurseries success in producing high quality trees. Green Shield in its quest for perfection is always on the lookout for the latest technologies and procedures and strives to be a market leader. Many of the materials used in our facility where designed for other industries. Being innovative Green Shield looks to technology everywhere because it just may be adaptable for our use. Gal pipes (plumbing), gripples (fencing), PVC tubing (plumbing), rubber tubing (car industry), weather station (Metrology), computer irrigation controller (golf courses), treated pine poles (fencing), wire (fencing), granite rock (roads and drainage), concrete pipes (drainage), AG drains (plumbing), black plastic (concreting), chlorination system (pool industry).
All these items have been used and modified to suite our applications to build a unique innovative and sustainable nursery.