SUMMER IS A BUSY time for Florida blueberry growers, and it’s one where growers should pay close attention to irrigation and water usage. Since berry picking is over, plants are pruned to encourage important new growth that will carry next year’s berries. It’s a crucial time for water management, according to a study conducted by UF/IFAS Horticulturist Jeffrey Williamson and Extension Agent Gary England. They found that mature blueberry bushes “have two seasonal peaks of high water demand.”
The first occurs in May when berries are growing. The second comes in August and September as new growth branches out. Additionally, the research team found that blueberry plants’ shallow root systems and the low water-holding capacity of the soil means that producers must use multiple light watering over the course of a day to minimize drought stress that could affect next year’s berry crop. For more information about this study, review “Summer Blueberry Care,” published in the Summer 2014 edition of The Blueberry News (page 16).
What water’s importance boils down to is that a broken or faulty irrigation component can spell disaster for a blueberry plant’s health and fruit production. During the summer months, weed management is a must for controlling weeds that compete for water resources. Then, ensure that irrigation systems are in working order. If any components require repair or replacement, contact us. Domer’s offers an array of irrigation components, from fittings and index valves to drippers, misters, k-rain sprinklers and timers to guarantee the irrigation system is working perfectly.
This column is sponsored by Domer’s, Inc.
column by JUSTIN DOMER
BIO: Brothers Jacob and Justin Domer are the fourth generation to step into the shoes of great-grandfather Victor Domer, the original owner of Domer’s, Inc. Both were raised in the business, learning the trade alongside studies at Okeechobee High School. Justin holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Business minor from FSU; Jacob attended Indian River State College, and both men consider running the business a team effort. The two brothers, along with the rest of the Domer family, enjoy working alongside each other and helping their customers.