Explore irrigation considerations the Florida citrus growers should be thinking about as the water needs of citrus trees change.

Springtime in Florida brings increased irrigation considerations for Florida citrus trees, according to a Florida Grower article. It is still the winter dry season in Florida, but citrus trees are growing leaves and flowers and setting fruit from February to May. This means their irrigation requirements increase greatly. Citrus greening adds to the problem as the disease decreases the size of a citrus tree’s roots, meaning there are fewer roots to take up water for the tree. See tips on irrigation for citrus trees as Spring approaches below.

Tips for Irrigation Considerations

The article shared these tips for citrus grove irrigation considerations from UF/IFAS multi-county citrus agent, Ajia Paolillo:

  • “Soil types differ within Florida’s citrus-growing region, with some having a higher water-holding capacity than others. Research recommendations have suggested that regardless of soil type, irrigation should be applied to trees more frequently for less durations, reducing the amount of water applied at a given irrigation event.
  • “The goal is to achieve a sufficient amount of available water in the soil for healthy tree growth and fruit production.”
  • “Field capacity is a term used to describe the point at which all the air pockets in the soil are filled with water, and drainage through the soil profile stops. Soils reach field capacity typically after a large rain event. Field capacity is the point at which there is the most available water in that soil.”
  • “The permanent wilting point is when there is not enough available water in the soil for the tree to uptake. The drier the soil, the less available water for the trees. The depletion of available soil water is the difference between field capacity and permanent wilting point.”
  • “The recommended guideline of available soil water depletion during these months should not be more than 25%. Once the summer rains begin around June, available soil water depletion should be 50%.

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.