Effect of soil water depletion on growth, yield, and fruit quality of carambola in gravelly loam soil

Rashid Al-Yahyai, Frederick S. Davies, Bruce Schaffer, Jonathan Crane

Abstract


Irrigation scheduling of carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees in South Florida is typically based on the calendar or soil appearance. The EnviroSCAN[tm] system continuously monitors soil water content with multi-sensor capacitance probes and is used to schedule irrigation based on the "onset of stress" principle. Our objective was to compare growth, yields, and fruit quality of 8-year-old 'Arkin' carambola trees on Golden Star rootstock at four soil water depletion (SWD) levels in Krome very gravelly loam soil. Soil water content rarely fell below the "onset of stress" level for irrigation and there were no differences in tree growth, yields, or total soluble solids, at SWDs ranging from 0% (field capacity) to 17%. We hypothesize that soil water remained at non-stress levels via capillary rise from the water table and adequate rainfall. Mature carambola trees growing in this soil type required considerably less irrigation than is typical (2-3 times/week) without adverse effects on crop growth, yield or fruit quality.

Keywords


averrhoa carambola; fruit yield; irrigation

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283