Characteristics of Pinios river delta soils in Greece cultivated with kiwifruit

C.D. Tsadilas, P. Raptis, A. Tsitouras, M. Tziouvalekas
Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis Planch.) is a crop introduced to Greece about 45 years ago, which soon spread in the country, mostly in the Pieria, Imathia, Larissa, and Epirus areas. Nowadays, at the country level, about 6000 ha are cultivated with kiwifruit, showing an increasing trend. About half of this area is in the estuary of the Pinios river, located in the eastern part of the prefecture of Larissa. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the physico-chemical characteristics of the soils on which kiwifruit is grown in order to propose possible ameliorative measures. Over 150 composite surface-soil samples were selected from the whole area and analysed for basic soil physico-chemical and chemical properties related to kiwifruit growth [pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, calcium carbonate content, available P, K, and B, and metallic micronutrients Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn]. In addition, information from the soil map of the area such as soil texture and soil drainage was combined, and relevant thematic maps were created. Furthermore, leaf samples from 36 groves were selected at appropriate times and analysed for basic macro- and micronutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, B, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn). Water samples from the basic water sources of the area also were selected and analysed for properties related to their quality for irrigation [pH, EC, sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+), anions (CO3-, SO42-, NO3-) and B]. According to these results, most of the area cultivated with kiwifruit has medium drainage, but there are also areas with poorly drained soils. Almost all the soils studied have high CaCO3 content, medium EC, lower than desirable exchangeable K and available P but higher than critical B content. In conclusion, these soils are not ideal for kiwifruit growth, needing ameliorative measures and special care in nutrient management.
Tsadilas, C.D., Raptis, P., Tsitouras, A. and Tziouvalekas, M. (2018). Characteristics of Pinios river delta soils in Greece cultivated with kiwifruit. Acta Hortic. 1218, 443-450
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1218.61
kiwifruit, soil requirements, alluvial soils, nutrients, plant analysis

Acta Horticulturae