|Authors: ||E. Rubauskis, M. Skrivele, I. Dimza, V. Berlands|
|Keywords: ||Malus, rootstock, trunk diameter, fruit size, sawdust mulch, soil moisture, Latvia|
The area of high-density apple orchards is still increasing in Latvia.
The most popular dwarfing rootstock used in the new plantations is B 9. The Latvian climate is very changeable.
On average, it can be characterized by a growth season (>5 oC) of 180-200 days, total precipitation of 600-850 mm/year, and an average temperature during the year of 5 oC. By decreasing abiotic stress on plants it is possible to improve their yields and fruit quality.
One of the main abiotic factors is water - its status in the soil, and this must be controlled by the grower.
The aim of this trial is to establish the reaction of two apple cultivars on rootstock B 9 to soil moisture control treatments: drip irrigation (fertigation) and sawdust mulch.
Maiden trees of the apple cultivars: ‘Melba’ and ‘Korichnoe Novoe’ on rootstock B 9 were planted in 1997. Yield and growth parameters for young trees on B 9 were better in improved soil moisture conditions with fertigation and mulches.
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