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The effect of drip irrigations and mulch on plum production

A two year yield of plum, cv. Carmesim, grown under subtropical conditions, was studied for continuous drip irrigation, drip plus mulch of grass and related to weekly basin irrigation. Soil water distribution under drip treatment showed that for the heavy soil studied, its behaviour was more like light and median textured soils. Horizontal water movement was only 40cm away from the application source, and by using two emitters per plant, only ten percent of the soil volume occupied by roots was irrigated, under drought situation. The amount of applied water was considered high, specially if associated to the normal elevated rainfall of that location. Better results were obtained with treatment continuous drip irrigation, with relation to number of fruits and fruit weight. Drip treatments slightly increased yield but caused significant earliness on harvesting.

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