Spoon-feeding nutrients to trees has been beneficial in trials and could be well suited with avocado production.
Citrus growers in Florida trying to cope with huanglongbing disease have found that focusing on tree health will prolong their groves. Research showed that giving the trees the exact nutrients they need in small, but more frequent amounts through fertigation had a significant benefit. “So when you fertigate and automate your system, you can essentially spoon-feed your trees. Every time you irrigate, you can have a little bit of fertilizer so that what you put on the tree today is in the tree tomorrow,” Spann said. “The efficiency is huge.”
California Avocado Commission Research Program Director Tim Spann was part of some of that research and said the practice could be even more beneficial to avocado growers in California. “When you think about an avocado tree, you know it’s a tropical species that has this root system that is really adept at scavenging nutrients out of the decomposing leaf litter on the forest floor,” he said. “Spoon feeding them small amounts of fertilizer, continuously, is almost ideal for them. I think they would benefit even more so than what we see in citrus.”
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