Orchard Irrigation: This is all you need to know

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The modern way of growing fruit requires adequate irrigation of orchards. When performing irrigation of orchards and vineyards, the issue of water dosing is important. Optimal soil moisture can be achieved and maintained only if water is handled professionally in the rhizosphere zone.

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If irrigated more often than necessary, there is a higher dosage of water and problems. If it is irrigated less often and thus a smaller amount of water than needed is added, a high and quality yield in fruit growing cannot be achieved. The depth of the soil to be irrigated depends on the depth of the root system and the stage of development of the plant. Irrigation depth for apple, peach, pear, is 0.40-0.55 m.

In practice, irrigation is most often used according to critical periods in relation to water. Fruit trees consume the most water from the end of flowering to the end of intensive fruit growth. The critical stages of development in relation to water are:

  • growth of leaves and shoots,

First irrigation it should be done ten days after flowering, if the spring is dry.

Second irrigation is performed at the beginning of July, in the period of the greatest growth of vegetative organs, when flower buds are formed for the next year and fruits grow. That is when evapotranspiration is greatest, so fruit trees consume the most water.

Third irrigation is done in early August, for the growth of fruits, which arrive for harvest at the end of the same month and during the next.

Fourth irrigation it is applied only to varieties of apples and pears for winter consumption, but it is done 25-30 days before harvest.

Irrigation of orchards

Plant type Annual water demand (mm)


Apples 500-600

V. loza 520-600

Stone fruit 450-550

Berries 450-600

Watering standards for most fruit species per month are:

  • april 40-60 mm
  • May 70-100 mm
  • jun                             90-120 mm
  • jul 110-130 mm
  • avgust 100-130 mm
  • septembar 50-60 mm.

SOURCE: PSSS Zajecar Valentina Aleksic,


Source: Bolja Zemlja by www.boljazemlja.com.

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