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How dry is too dry on hand watering various fruits and nuts?

Posted by meredith_e 7B Piedmont NC (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 19:02

At the moment, we are having too much rain, but it brought up a question. Before all the rain came, we were dry for a long while. I knew the rain was coming in 2 days, but I was afraid of letting my trees get too dry (like deadly dry) first. So I watered, but not deeply.

No foliage was wilting, but is that waiting too long if it does? Or is that just right before supplemental watering?

Then the specifics: The trees are all young, most as whips last year, with cherries and plums as new whips this year. The soil drains well only because it is sloped. Eventually the roots will hit red clay. The first couple of feet are amended for drainage and general texture.

I hate giving a big ol' list, but if anyone has tips on how dry is too dry for any of the following, please let me know :)

And if it's different for young trees versus trees meant to bear, please tell me:

Almond (All-in-One)
Native Filberts (not cultivars)
Apricots
Peaches
Nectarines
European pears
Japanese Plums
Duke Cherry (Sweet x Sour)
Sour Cherry
Canadian cherry 'Carmine Jewel'

We get some droughts in the summer where it's possible to be bone-dry for many days, so I have to get it right in my mind how dry they like it best. I don't want to hurt them either way! Thanks so much :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How dry is too dry on hand watering various fruits and nuts?

5 gallons water at one watering per week this for tree's not bushes. Stop when your plants get 1" rain for week it okay to adjust after 1" rain back to a favorite date like 7 days plus 3 days what every take to get back favorite date.
Most tree's will surfer badly after 23 days no water young tree's not mature tree's.


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RE: How dry is too dry on hand watering various fruits and nuts?

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 11:29

My trees are all in ground and well mulched, so there are no hard and fast rules regarding how much or how often to water. Walk the property and check for signs of stress as well. I use a moisture meter, and the finger in the dirt method to determine when to water. Water deeply when ever watering is needed. The moisture meter will tell you how well you've watered afterwards.


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RE: How dry is too dry on hand watering various fruits and nuts?

Thank y'all so much! I'll get a water meter for the orchard. I'm used to shrubs where you won't ruin a harvest if you do things too unevenly :)

I think I'll plan on treating the almond like grapes, maybe, as far as whether they like things drier than other trees. I'm getting a good feel for what grapes like, because I've grown them longer. I think grapes and almonds may be the only edibles I grow that prefer to be rather dry, but of course y'all correct me on that if you know better!

Ugh, we are having too much rain now for my liking, but nothing to be done about that!


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RE: How dry is too dry on hand watering various fruits and nuts?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 15:06

Young trees and vines are an entirely different matter than well established ones. They need more frequent water. Like an inch or two once a week on newly planted. If big trees are nearby or weeds are present maybe more.

Grapes are one of the most drought tolerant fruits. So that is a good standard gauge for watering needs.

The nuts will need more water than grapes for best nut size and fill. There is no upside to shorting water on nuts.

Peaches, nectarine, and plum after getting well rooted can benefit from some water deficit. The benefit comes in the form of sweeter and more flavorful fruit at the expense of some fruit size. I'd say water those about like the grapes. If they aren't dropping leaves or the fruit isn't shriveling they aren't too dry.

Cherries, pears, and apples probably need a little water than grapes. Cut the dry periods off a little sooner.


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