IRRIGATION OF LITCHIS IN SOUTH AFRICA - AN OVERVIEW

P.G. Mostert
South Africa is a water scarce country and efficient irrigation is a very important part of litchi production. The rainfall in main litchi production areas is less than 700 mm per year and supplementary irrigation is necessary. The total yearly water use of a mature litchi orchard varies between 950 and 1100 mm/ha/year. The peak daily water use occurs during December and January and varies between 5 to 7 mm per day. The distribution of water during the season is also very important especially during flowering and initial fruit set, which occurs from August to late September. Rainfall during this period is very low in the main litchi producing areas of South Africa. Supplementary irrigation is therefore very important to limit fruit drop and cracking during the cell division and enlargement stages. Irrigation in South Africa is mainly done with micro-irrigation (>80%). However, there is a growing interest in drip irrigation. Irrigation scheduling is done by the use of the calendar method, tensiometers or capacitance probes. This paper discusses irrigation practices for litchi in South Africa.
Mostert, P.G. (2014). IRRIGATION OF LITCHIS IN SOUTH AFRICA - AN OVERVIEW. Acta Hortic. 1029, 177-182
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1029.20
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1029.20
litchi production, rainfall, daily water use, irrigation scheduling, tensiometer, capacitance probe
English

Acta Horticulturae