J. Cuevas, I.M. Romero, M.D. Fernández, J.J. Hueso
Deficit irrigation initiated 8 weeks after harvest has been proven to be a suitable and more profitable strategy for producing loquat. To precise optimal water savings during that period an experiment was established comparing reproductive phenology in trees suffering 50%, 75% or 100% water cuts during six weeks (mid-June to end of July). Full irrigated trees were controls. Trees undergoing original postharvest deficit irrigation during an additional period of five more weeks, with 75% water cuts act as a second control. All deficit irrigation treatments promoted earlier flowering when compared with control trees; the greatest advancement in full bloom date was achieved when water savings reached 75% (season 2004/05) or 100% (season 2005/06), during a period of water stress limited to six weeks. 75% water cuts anticipated full bloom 27 (2004/05) and 21 days (2005/06) with respect to controls. Complete (100%) suppression of watering during six weeks anticipated full bloom 25 and 27 days, seasons 2004/05 and 2005/06, respectively. Trees subjected to an extended period of water stress advanced full bloom date in a lesser extent (13 and 18 days, 2004/05 and 2005/06, respectively). A water cut of 50% brought an anticipation of full bloom of only 12 and 10 days, depending on the year. Deeper water cuts allowed also a desirable concentration of bloom. Dry weight of flowers was negatively affected by water stress, although no impact was translated into initial fruit set. Earlier bloom derived in an earlier harvest date without detrimental effects on fruit quality and productivity.
Cuevas, J., Romero, I.M., Fernández, M.D. and Hueso, J.J. (2007). DEFICIT IRRIGATION SCHEDULES TO PROMOTE EARLY FLOWERING IN 'ALGERIE' LOQUAT. Acta Hortic. 750, 281-286
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.750.44
Eriobotrya japonica, regulated deficit irrigation, reproductive phenology, flower quality, water deficit, water stress

Acta Horticulturae