Monitoring Post Harvest Irrigation: Almonds
With Almonds, normal leaf drop is around mid-November, it is critical to keep leaves on the tree as long as possible. Prolonging defoliation allows the tree to transition nutrients (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) from it’s leaves back to the fruiting spurs. One way to do this is by applying adequate post harvest water.
Soil moisture monitoring can help ensure you are applying the right amount of water and more importantly where the tree needs it. Along with simply irrigating you will be applying nitrogen, by monitoring you can ensure you are not pushing this beyond your root zone.
Target Your Rootzone!
It is nice to see your moisture at each sensor depth, but sometimes looking at the average of your targeted area is more efficient.
You can see above, our moisture status was understandably low going into harvest. During harvest a few short irrigation’s were applied to keep the tree from entering a state of stress. Lastly you can see our post harvest irrigation causes a quick spike in moisture status, refilling our rootzone profile.
In order to irrigate this consistently and stay off peak, pump automation may be an option for you.
We were able to execute our post harvest irrigation strategy on a schedule every evening to regain our moisture status. We were able to watch in real time, to verify the system was running correctly without physically being on site.