A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF DRY WINTER IRRIGATION ON LITCHI PRODUCTION
The traditional perspective implies that water stress during winter is required for floral induction of fruit on litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.). We hypothesized that correct timing for moderate irrigation during a dry winter benefits floral induction, fruit set and yield in Guiwei and Nuomici litchi. Canopy covers were used to simulate the natural drought process, intercepting any rainfall. Guiwei litchi trees (average crown size 4×4 m) under cover or in an open field were irrigated for two consecutive winters during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. During the winter of 2010-2011 Nuomici litchi trees were irrigated in an open field. For all treatments except the drought/moisture control 150 L/tree/irrigation were used. The effects of winter irrigation on litchi fruit production were investigated. The results indicated that dry winter irrigation, including manual watering and natural events, improved the flowering rates of Guiwei litchi trees and increased the final fruit yields for Guiwei and Nuomici litchi trees. There was a positive association between increased irrigation frequency and improved flowering rates and fruit yield. In combination with efficient cultivation and water conservation (via irrigation), the best regime for increased flowering and fruit set during dry winters was to irrigate four times during the coldest time in winter.
Li, Z.Q., Yuan, P.Y., Qiu , Y.P., Zhang, B.Y., Li, J.G. and Fan, C. (2014). A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF DRY WINTER IRRIGATION ON LITCHI PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 1029, 183-189
Litchi chinensis Sonn., drought, water-saving irrigation, yield