Influence of deficit irrigation on the 'Catherine Sel.1' peach cultivar in the semiarid region of Dobrogea

L. Septar, C. Moale, C. Gavăt, V.A. Opriță, I. Caplan, M. Stanca, G. Lămureanu
Irrigation is a major horticultural activity and is the most intensively practiced operation throughout the growing season. Its importance depends on the climate zone. In arid and semi-arid regions, irrigation application is mandatory for modern fruit growing, but the optimal irrigation application requires large amounts of water. In the context of global warming, water saving is a major objective. Therefore, deficit irrigation (DI) is an attractive alternative. The plant studied was 12-year-old 'Catherine Sel.1' peach trees. The trees were grafted on franc rootstock and planted in a 4×3 m layout. Soil management was represented by clean cultivation both between tree rows and in the row. The split-plot experiment layout described here is mono-factorial with three strategies of irrigation. The irrigation regimes consisted of a fully irrigated (FI) treatment (V1, non-stressed) watered according to the irrigation needs (100% of ETc = ETo × Kc, Penman-Monteith method), a deficit irrigation (DI) treatment (V2) irrigated with half the amount of water in V1 (50% of ETc), and a non-irrigated control (NI) treatment (V3). Treatment plots comprised three adjacent fruit tree rows, with the central row containing three trees for measurements and observations. Soil water potential was measured with Watermark resistance blocks installed at four depths: 20 cm, 40 cm, 60 cm and 80 cm at a 150 cm distance from the tree trunks, with two replicates for each tree. This paper describes fruit quality results in a chernozem of Dobrogea region, Romania. Finally, the study suggests that a moderate water stress can be profitable for enhancing key fruit quality characteristics.
Septar, L., Moale, C., Gavăt, C., Opriță, V.A., Caplan, I., Stanca, M. and Lămureanu, G. (2021). Influence of deficit irrigation on the 'Catherine Sel.1' peach cultivar in the semiarid region of Dobrogea. Acta Hortic. 1304, 249-256
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1304.35
Prunus persica, water stress, climate conditions, soil water content, quality fruit

Acta Horticulturae