If your apple tree doesn't produce fruit because it can't receive enough water from the soil, place an irrigation system around it. Apple trees tend to flourish or grow best when they have sufficient water. But if you live in an area or state that experiences droughts or low rain, your tree may not receive enough water to help it bear fruit. Apple trees may also demand more water during certain times of the year than other times, which may hinder the tree's growth or ability to ripen fruit at the right time. Placing a small irrigation system around the tree may improve its water content. Here's how irrigation systems work and how you can design one for your apple tree.
What's an Irrigation System?
An irrigation system is used to bring, direct or deliver water to areas of land that lack sufficient moisture in the soil. Sometimes, irrigation systems are placed in locations that don't receive enough rain. Although most irrigation systems use underground pipes to water soil, plants or trees, some irrigation systems, such as automated sprinkler systems, sit above the ground.
The majority of irrigation systems allow you to control how much water an area receives by using special timers or programmable control mechanisms. The timers or control mechanisms generally allow you to preset a time that you wish to water your tree. A timer or control mechanism keeps you from over-watering your apple tree, which may die if the soil becomes too wet. For example, if your apple tree requires more water in the afternoon than any other time of the day, you can program your irrigation system to come at that time and shut down when the soil receives enough moisture for the day.
Having the right type of irrigation system in place for your apple tree is critical to helping it thrive.
What Type of Irrigation System Works Best for Your Apple Tree?
Sources recommended using a drip irrigation system for fruit trees that require watering. Drip irrigation systems allow you to water only the area you need to hydrate, which encourages your fruit tree to grow. The system sits above ground and uses special tubing that features irrigation holes, or emitters, on its surface. The holes allow water to "drip" or seep out of the tube at a slow or set pace. The soil receives the right amount of water without become too wet or saturated.
You can make your own drip irrigation system for your apple tree. You'll need to purchase a garden hose that is long enough to stretch from your home to the apple tree. It's a good idea that you use a tape measure to obtain the correct measurement.
You also need:
- 2 large bags of mulch
- 1 bag of large decorative stones
- Rake and gardening hoe
- Automated drip irrigation system timer
Now, follow these steps:
- Use your rake and gardening hoe to remove dead leaves and fruit from around the tree.
- Attach your gardening hose to the outdoor water spout that's closest to the tree.
- Stretch the water hose out until it reaches the tree, then loosely encircle the base of the tree with the hose.
- Use your knife to punch or create widely-spaced holes in the part of the hose that encircles the tree to help the water flow out of the hose freely.
- Place mulch along the outside of the hose. Mulch will help the soil maintain its new supply of water and moisture.
- Encircle the mulch with the decorative stones. The stones will help disguise the hose.
- Line the length of the water hose that travels from the home to the apple tree with flowers, grass or another type of natural fixture to disguise it.
- Follow the instructions on the drip irrigation timer to help you install it. Be sure to program the timer to turn on and off as needed.
Test out your new drip irrigation system by turning on the water spout. Be sure to place the spout on low to avoid pushing too much water out of the hose at once. The water should trickle out of the holes on the water hose. If the water doesn't trickle out, adjust the flow of water at the water spout until it does. You have successfully set up your drip irrigation system.
For more ideas on how to irrigate or water your apple tree, contact an irrigation system provider, such as Hydrotech Irrigation Co, today.