SPRINKLER IRRIGATION TO OBTAIN A REFRESHING MICROCLIMATE. EFFECT ON FRUIT GROWTH RATES AND QUALITY OF "JONEE" AND "GOLDEN SMOOTHE" APPLES.
The sprinklers were started when the air temperature was 32°C and had a precipitation rate of 3 mm per hour. This increased the relative humidity of the atmosphere for 2 to 3 hours and reduced the atmosphere temperature by 3 or 4°C while the watering took place.
This microclimate had an important effect on the yield and quality of the fruit. The microclimate and the position of the fruit on the tree influenced the levels of soluble solids, firmness, acidity and skin colour, but storage life was not influenced consistently by irrigation.
The highest fruits on the tree were found to contain the most soluble solids and acidity, but no difference in levels of internal ethylene was noted between apples from cooled trees and the controls.