Citrus irrigation recommendations in Western Australia

Page last updated: Thursday, 20 September 2018 - 10:48am

Irrigation is one of the most important factors in producing a good yield of quality citrus. Without correct scheduling, your orchard is more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, physiological disorders, pests and diseases.

In scheduling irrigation for both sprinkler and drip irrigation systems a range of factors needs to be considered.

Introduction

Irrigation is one of the most important factors in producing a good yield of quality citrus.

Irrigation scheduling — knowing how much water to put on and when — has a direct impact on tree health and fruit yield, size and quality. Without correct scheduling your orchard is more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, physiological disorders, pests and disease.

Correct irrigation scheduling requires an understanding of how much water:

  • can be held in the crop root zone

  • is required by the crop each day

  • is applied by the irrigation system.

Shallow root systems

Citrus trees have shallow root systems. Dig under the canopy of a tree in an area watered by your irrigation system and you will see a mass of fine roots. Dig a little deeper and these fine roots are replaced by larger, structural roots. It is the mass of fine roots — the effective root zone — that takes up most of the water and nutrients.

Irrigation must be aimed at the effective root zone, minimising the amount of water wasted. For citrus, the effective root zone is usually the top 30 to 40cm, depending on soil type.

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Contact information

Bronwyn Walsh
+61 (0)8 9368 3786
Kevin Lacey