Water usage, sustainability and soil maintenance are important areas of focus when temperatures start getting warmer in Hood River, Oregon. We frequently check our water levels and saturation within our soils, to ensure we are properly applying the right mix of moisture to the root systems as well as conserving our glacial fed water system. Also, we utilize the most advanced watering systems in the world. These are called micro sprinklers along with any new developments going into fully automated drip systems. This helps us conserve water and consistently control plant development. Learn our top 3 tips for watering our fruit trees in today’s blog post.
The Fruit Company Tips to Watering Fruit Trees
1) Keep the soil profile at the right water levels
Trees need adequate water especially during warmer weather, thus it is important to keep the soil profile at adequate levels. It is also vital that our trees have the right amount of water when our Orchards are experiencing higher than normal wind circulation. Winds have a tendency to dry out the top soil quickly which can be especially dangerous for younger trees with more surface roots. How do we measure our soil wetness? Read on and find out!
2) Use weather stations to measure your soil wetness
A great tool to ensure you have the right water amount in your soil are weather stations. Many of these stations come with soil probes, which will take measurements of how wet your soil is at various depths of the root structure. It is recommended to keep the soil levels just below the bulk of the roots but not at a rate where you see water pooling at the top of your soil.
3) Use organic material in your soil
Your soil mix will also determine how slowly your water and fertilizer leach thru the soil. It is advised to have sufficient organic material that will hold moisture, but also allow for drainage. Occasionally, we will rototill the ground to loosen up the soil which breaks up the substrate and allows for more even penetration by our water and fertilizer programs.
Sustainability with Watering Our Fruit Trees
Being careful of our water usage is vital to create a stable environment for trees to grow in. It’s also important for the area, which is rich in wildlife. We practice mindful water usage by measuring the ground soil for moisture. This allows us to put in water only when it is needed. We also use advanced watering systems such as micro sprinklers and fully automated drip systems.
There are three main types of sprinklers. The first is called an impact sprinkler, which releases water very fast. The next generation of sprinklers, which are primarily used in our region, are called micro sprinklers. These put out a much steadier and slower stream of water with more even distribution. Lastly, the most advanced system, which we are using exclusively in all our newly developed fields, are called drip systems. This system is most friendly to the environment and allows us to spoon feed the tree when it requires watering and nutrients.
Use our Watering Tips for a Successful May
With summer around the corner, utilizing our top three tips for watering fruit trees can help you grow a healthy crop, while also conserving water. Water sustainability is really important, not only for our ecosystem, but also to grow a healthy vibrant tree. If you overwater your trees, this could lead to root rot. Be mindful of your water usage, the type of soil you use and the wetness levels. Good luck on a fruitful month of watering!
Scott Webster is President & CEO of both Webster Orchards, Inc and TheFruitCompany.com. Webster Orchards has been growing premium fresh fruit in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area since 1942, starting with Scott’s grandfather Roy Webster. The Fruit Company, an online gift retailer has been packing and shipping beautiful fruit gifts nationwide since 1999. Both headquarters are located in the Hood River Valley, nestled between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.