Irrigating Apple Trees – How to water apple trees
The average young apple tree needs a lot of water in order to develop strong roots, leaves and finally fruits. As a rule of thumb, young apple trees need more water than mature apple trees, which can rely mostly on rainwater in regions with frequent rainfalls. As a second rule of thumb, in regions where there are no frequent rainfalls, it is beneficial to irrigate apple trees (especially the younger ones) about once a week from May to October. As a third rule of thumb, the majority of apple trees need almost half of the annual water supply during July and August. However, these are just rules of thumb that should not be followed without making your own research. Every field is different and has different needs. Although some general rules may apply, soil texture and climate conditions determine at a great percentage the amount of water needed in order to harvest a fair yield.
Backyard apple growers often built a circular soil wall 3-5 feet around the apple trunk and add a thin layer of mulch in it, so as to increase the rainwater holding capacity of the soil.
During the last 30 years, part coverage, drip or micro irrigation systems were used in commercial apple orchards. However, nowadays in the United States, sprinklers are used in at least 60% of apple farms. Their main advantage is the protection of the tree buds from frost damage. These contemporary systems normally ensure full coverage irrigation. Full coverage irrigation combined with the presence of cover crops often reduces the need for fertilizing, because the cover crop normally produces organic matter that is decomposed, releasing important nutrients to the soil.
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9. Apple Tree Irrigation
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