See the benefits of using different jets for irrigating citrus to have the most beneficial impact on Florida citrus trees.
Irrigating citrus is a must with Florida’s dry season and history of drought. However, not all irrigation setups are created equal. In a Citrus Industry article, Marshall Hartley, a certified crop adviser and citrus grower in Lake Wales, Florida, shares the benefits of using different jets in citrus groves given the strange ways sand can actually “repel” water. See details of the article below.
Benefits of Different Jets
Harley maintained that “most growers use fan (fill-in) jets, which cause roots to spread out like a pancake instead of growing downward,” and he cautioned that this caused many trees to fall over during Hurricane Irma due to their shallow root system. He shared that he uses “cone jets for all of my young citrus trees. A cone jet will concentrate the water at the base of the tree…this type of application of water causes the tree roots to grow deeply downward.”
After his trees mature to about 1.5 years or 2 years, he switches to fill-in jets, moving the jets between trees. He maintained that most growers leave their jets next to their trees (as with his cone jets), but that moving them is better. “When jets are placed so close to trunks of trees older than 2 years, up to 40 percent of the wettable area on the other side of the tree is blocked. This means that 40 percent of the tree’s root system is not getting proper water or fertilizer (in the case of fertigation),” he explained.
He shared that it’s much easier to reach the jets to perform maintenance and repairs, and that they are not knocked over by herbicide boons. While harvesting pickers may knock them over, Harley maintains they are rarely damaged and easily stood back up.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.