Fruit farming is a lucrative industry that raking in billions of dollars every year. However, farmers cannot enjoy the profitability of the agribusiness if they do not understand the conditions of their soil. With the right soil, it’s easy to solve the challenges of nutrient deficiency and evade several diseases.
Understand the soil properties
Most fruits flourish in the following conditions:
Deep, fertile, well-drained soils
Plants such as macadamia, avocado, tree tomato, and apples flourish in deep and well-drained soils. Adequate drainage helps prevent the development of fungal diseases and root rot. Before planting, it’s important to perform a soil test to understand the soil fertility, drainage, texture, and other soil properties. The drainage should be molded before planting.
A pH range of between 5.5 to 7.5
Fruit trees are easily affected by the alkalinity, acidity, and salinity of the soil. Plants perform best at a pH range of between 5.5 to7.5. After the soil is tested, a professional will determine whether the soil is suitable for the crop you want to grow or not. After assessing soil health and pH, professionals and agronomists will help you devise the best technique to adjust the soil pH and to maintain ideal soil conditions in the orchard. Some soil-improvement techniques that can be used include:
- Increasing the organic matter with manure, crop rotation, cover crops, and adding compost manure
- Applying nitrogen-based fertilizers, especially during the early and vegetative stages
- Adding lime to the soil to neutralize the soil pH
Get your soil tested by professionals
When the soil has attained the optimum conditions for fruit and vegetable production, achieving a healthier fruit season becomes easier. It’s not possible to fully understand the soil conditions by just looking, smelling, or feeling it. Commercial fruit farmers, especially those that practice large-scale production invest in regular soil testing to ensure that they achieve optimum performance and production. Integrating regular soil testing with regenerative and sustainable soil practices will minimize the costs of amending the soil and the need for fertilizers.
It’s important to understand your soil throughout the plant’s growing season. Before planting, soil testing will help you understand the nutrients which are present and absent in the soil. This will help both smallholder and large-scale growers to devise effective manuring and fertilizer application programs. Besides, it will help farmers determine whether the pH is suitable for fruit production or it needs to be adjusted. Also, soil testing will help the growers to understand the soil’s ability to resist diseases and any soil-borne diseases that are likely to occur.
Organic- friendly soil fumigation
Soil fumigation is an important practice to prevent soil-borne and bacterial diseases in plants such as apples, citrus, macadamia, grapes, and avocado.
After testing and treating your soil, the next step is to select the most suitable variety.
Choose appropriate varieties based on the soil properties
The growing conditions of different varieties vary. Apart from the climatic conditions and geographical location, the choice of the varieties selected is also influenced by the geographical location and soil properties. It’s recommended to understand the soil requirements before planting fruit seedlings.