Why is avocado irrigation so important?
Avocado irrigation is important to achieve maximum yields and quick maturity. Avocado irrigation guarantees 30% more yield compared to non-irrigated avocadoes. More yields and quick maturity means more profits💰 for the farmer. Grekkon Limited offers best irrigation systems in Kenya for avocado trees.
Why should you irrigate your avocados?
- More yields.
- Quick maturity and consistent production. This means you go to the market earlier.
- Zero plant stress as avocadoes have shallow root system
- Reduced flower and fruit drops
Avocado irrigation methods in Kenya
When selecting an irrigation system for avocadoes, you should aim at 80% efficiency in terms of water distribution. Avocadoes have a shallow yet wide root system, hence spreading the water will increase the health of the trees which has a positive effect on yield and quality.
The irrigation system selected should also be able to assist in cooling the plants as avocadoes are susceptible to heat stress.
Also aim at low volume irrigation systems that will minimize over watering which can cause
Avocado irrigation using drip irrigation
- Button dripper irrigation system for avocadoes.
This works well with young avocado trees, especially the first year in the field. Here, the dripper is punched on 16mm hdpe pipe to emit water near the root zone. Button dripper used can be pressure compensated with flow rates of either 4-12L per hour or the adjustable type with flow rates of 0-70L per hour.
Avocado drip irrigation is done by use of button drippers or pressure compensated drip lines.
The button dripper method should be changed to other irrigation methods when the canopy starts to spread.
2. Pressure compensated drip lines
Here, 0.8mm-1.0mm thick driplines with either 30cm or 20cm spacing is coiled round the avocado seedling or tree. As the canopy increases, the drip line is unwound round the spreading root zone. This ensures the shallow root hairs are under the canopy receive adequate and equal amounts of water. It is one of the best precision irrigation methods for avocadoes that has a direct effect on yields.
Avocado irrigation using micro sprinklers
Micro sprinklers apply water directly to the avocado root zone. Since the avocado roots are shallow and spread around the canopy, they are able to get equal amounts of water. The sprinklers are low volume, producing between 20-30L per hour with spraying radiuses of up to 2.5m.
Micro sprinkler irrigation for avocadoes also allows for cooling of the plants, which reduces heat stress. It is one of the best irrigation systems for avocados in Kenya
Avocado water requirements.
Avocadoes are extremely water sensitive. Too much watering can lead to root rots while under watering can lead to reduced yields and even death. Avocado trees suffering from root rot have small canopies, turn yellow and are smaller in stature. For best yields, avocadoes require between 25-30mm of water per week. However, the exact water requirements differ from one region to another due to differences in soil type, climate and micro climate within the crop and tree canopy. Ensure you have ready supply of water all year round. Avocado water should also not be saline as they are susceptible to moisture stress.
During watering, do not let water to stand near the root system. Standing water can drown trees in less than 24 hours.
Best time to irrigate avocadoes
There is no best time to irrigate avocado trees. As a rule of thumb, always irrigate before they get water stressed. Much water is always needed during key growing stages such as flowering, fruit set and rapid fruit expansion.