The advantages of using a subsurface drip irrigation and planting patterns of 5×3 m have been used since 2017 in an intensive almond crop garden (Koda, Georgia).
When designing an almond garden in Koda (Georgia), the following tasks were set:
- Evenly moisten the soil to the depth of the root system of the tree given irrigation norms;
- The irrigation pipes should not prevent the mechanization of work on the irrigated field;
- Preparation for watering and watering itself should be carried out with minimal labor costs.
- Get a guaranteed maximum yield.
These tasks were completed by using the subsurface method of irrigation and 5×3 mplanting scheme.
The main advantages that have been obtained from the use of subsurface irrigation with the placement of a drip tube at a depth of 35-40 cm are the following:
- Very low water consumption (saving on resources);
- The uniform distribution of water in the root zone, which is equal to 40-60 cm;
- No evaporation of water;
- Automation of the irrigation process;
- Applying the fertilizers and plant protection products precisely to the root system (saving on the amount of fertilizers and increasing the effectiveness of the impact of plant protection products on the tree);
- In the upper layers, a soil crust does not form;
- Opportunities for the complete mechanization of the production process, both inbetween the rows and in the rows (minimization of losses from the human factor).
The choice of a 5x3m planting scheme with a leadinghead forming and a tree height of 3.5m allowed to planta garden with an intensive almond cultivation technology.
This scheme of planting with the leader form made it possible to increase the number of fruit-bearing trees to 667 pcs. per hectare compared to a non-leader form. Due to this planting scheme (without damage of the illumination of the fruit wall), the width of the rows was reduced, which made it possible to work with the equipment of lower power with greater efficiency and lower costs. Also, with such a scheme, a droplet tube with a compensated dropper was used with an interval of 70 cm between the droppers, which led to a reduction in the cost of the tube itself, and made it possible to increase the runs, which also reduced the cost of parts and irrigation installation.
In addition, the advantage of using leader forming is that the shape of the head in the garden is closest to the natural form, which is less traumatic for the tree.
All the above intensifications allowed to create an intensivecrop garden on an area of 90 hectares in 2017, with a projected yield of more than 1.5 times higher than in other planting schemes and irrigation methods.