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Author Topic: How much/often to water avocado trees in California  (Read 616 times)

Greg A

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How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« on: July 02, 2018, 04:19:10 PM »
I made up a table to help us water avocado trees efficiently and effectively in California. I put a lot of thought into it. So I thought I should share it here. I'd also love to hear feedback if you think I missed anything important or if you find that your gallons and frequencies are far different. Remember though, that I'm not saying this is a table everyone should follow; it's just for reference to get started homing in on the gallons and frequencies that are ideal for your situation.

I remember wishing something like this existed when I first started growing avocados, but finding that the tables made by farm advisors weren't very accurate or easy to apply for backyard growers like us.

Anyway, here's some explanation about the table: http://gregalder.com/yardposts/how-much-and-how-often-to-water-avocado-trees-in-california/

And here's the table:


gregalder.com/yardposts/

alangr088

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 05:37:47 PM »
Holy smokes year 3 and beyond in the summer is a lot of water.

buddy roo

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 12:52:03 AM »
good grief is this some form of HYDROPONICS ????                                                                                                 

Jct

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 10:09:51 AM »
good grief is this some form of HYDROPONICS ????                                                                                                 
And that is why a lot of avocado farmers in Fallbrook, CA are going out of business. That part of the county requested an agricultural exemption from the water regulations that went into effect due to the drought. It was denied, probably due to too high of a population density.  So their water costs went way up a couple of years ago at the height of the drought.  Last year wasn't bad, this year may get bad again.
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Seanny

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2018, 03:21:50 PM »
It's not hydroponic. It's wasting water.

joehewitt

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 03:34:27 PM »
600 gallons every 5 days for a fifth year tree??? I donít give my trees anywhere near that up here in the north and havenít seen a reason to increase their water yet.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 03:37:52 PM by joehewitt »

barath

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 03:51:23 PM »
Maybe soil differences are playing a big role -- I remember being told by someone living in Fallbrook that his soil was decomposed granite that was so well-drained that the water just ran right through.  He would drench his trees constantly with a (seemingly wasteful) amount of water.  On the other hand in the bay area there are tons of large old avocado trees that get no irrigation at all despite getting not much more rain than SoCal, growing in heavy clay soil.  There are a lot of these old trees in the east bay, some in areas that get only about 16 inches of rain a year, and I bet many of them aren't directly irrigated at all.

Greg A

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2018, 05:00:13 PM »
Sorry if the table is misleading, guys. The gallons are for the entire month. So, for example, a tree with a 14-foot canopy (maybe in its fifth year in the ground, maybe not) needs about 631 gallons for the entire month of July. If you water every five days, that would amount to around 100 gallons every five days.

In the article I linked to I explained some important factors that affect how much a particular avocado tree will actually need, as well as how much water you may actually have to give it. Some factors include shade, variety, soil type, and water quality.

The table is for trees in full sun and with typical Southern California quality water (read: "salty"). If you have a tree in half-day sun that gets very clean water, you don't need to irrigate it as much.

On this note, for example, I watered a Reed with only stored rainwater one year and it did way better (in terms of foliage appearance and fruit production) than my other trees getting district water.

One last remark: after a tree's been in the ground for a couple years it will be drinking from any water source within reach, sometimes way beyond its canopy edge, and that includes the tree you're irrigating beside it or the neighbor's hedge. So people in urban/suburban settings often don't need to water as much as the table shows. I know of a large Fuerte that "never" gets watered, but it's also got an irrigated lawn growing beneath half its canopy.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. And good luck with this heat wave if you live inland like me!
gregalder.com/yardposts/

JF

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2018, 05:16:39 PM »
630 gallons is what I water in one year. I'm glad you corrected that in an urban high density orchard you need 10 x time less. You don't want to discourage backyard growers.

spaugh

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 12:18:58 AM »
Im curious what people are paying for water.  Even at several hundred gallons a month per tree the cost of water should be way cheaper than buying avocados at the store.  A 4 or 5 year old tree grown in optimal conditions could be making 50 to 100lbs of fruit. 
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Greg A

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2018, 01:07:15 AM »
I pay $6.71 per hundred cubic feet (748 gallons), and I put almost 3,000 gallons on a 14-foot Hass last year (not including rain) that gave me 156 avocados. The tree's average production is a little lower overall, but if it's 100 per year then that would be around $0.27 per avocado in water cost. And water is pretty much the only cost.
gregalder.com/yardposts/

spaugh

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2018, 01:38:12 AM »
Its good you have done the calculations and used your meter to figure that all out.  I know Greg and he is not the type of person to waste a resource like water.  He has a lot of trees and tries to minimize his watering and fertilizer to bare minimum while still producing good fruit. 

Growing avocados for your family is not a waste of water.  Growing a lawn is a waste of water.
Brad Spaugh

AnnonaMangoLord45

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Re: How much/often to water avocado trees in California
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 02:40:30 AM »
I grow it in sandy loam and water it every day-3x a day depending on the weather


EDIT: By sandy loam i mean pure sand with a bit of clay in there

 

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