August – Watering Fruit Trees

After a brief hiatus, I’m back and ready to go.  Hubby and I have been up to our ears and eyeballs in busy work around the house and I’ve been, well, a tad pooped!  I was a bit delirious on Monday from lack of sleep and made every effort to post something on my blog.  I began to write something, but it seemed like I was reading/writing the same line of text for an hour (ever have that happen?).  I was going in slow motion and my vision was blurry.  While I was playing around with some videos on my post, I inadvertently clicked the “publish” button.  My adrenaline kicked into gear as I quickly deleted the pre-mature post, but it was too late, an e-mail went out to subscribers (sorry subscribers). 

For future reference, with the amount of work we need to do around here, it’s  safe to say you should expect a few more “breaks”, but I promise those gaps in time will be brief 🙂

After some odd weather lately here in Southern Nevada, the temps have decided to heat up over the past couple of weeks. It’s been clear and sunny with warmer temps ranging from 103°F to 106°F.  Looks like we’ll be cooling off a bit this weekend with a slight chance of thunderstorms and rain.  My heart goes out to the folks in Texas who are experiencing a record-breaking and devastating drought.  Some are predicting beef and vegetable prices will be going up in price later this year as a result.  If you’re on a tight budget, like we are, it’s time to get out and get your veggie garden started to offset the costs.

With consistently warmer temperatures, I finally had to start watering my fruit trees 3x a week (I started on Monday).  Some gardening folks I know started watering their fruit trees 3x a week some time ago, but with the erratic weather (hot, cold, rainy, etc.) and lower temps, I was reluctant to change my watering schedule. My decision to hold off was partly based on the UNCE Orchard Horticulturalist’s recommendation to go from watering 2x a week to 3x a week when the temperatures reach 105°F.

My main reason for waiting was based on the fact that I regularly check my soil with a soil moisture meter (I use a REOTEMP meter) and the soil’s moisture content was very consistent up until this past weekend when I noticed the soil was drying out quicker between watering.  I manually “flood” my fruit tree water basins with a hose giving them a nice deep drink (versus using a drip or bubblers) and by doing so, it forces me to be outside regularly so I can keep an eye on my fruit trees.  I’m hoping next year we’ll have our irrigation system in place, but for now, with a little extra care and attention on my part, my fruit trees are happy (what’s a gal to do on a budget besides make it work).   My hubby put in a temporary solution in the front yard orchard that I’ll have to share with you in a future post.

Front yard orchard just after "flooding" the water basins

I also want to note that I water for approximately 15 minutes each tree each watering (approximately 15 gallons each tree).  Note: I tested the water flow from the hose with a quick bucket test.  The flow I typically have running through my hose is approximately 1 gallon per minute, so basically, I’m watering my fruit trees with about 15 or so gallons each watering.  I know, it’s a rough estimate, but it works.

Over watering…

You cannot over water your trees by watering too much at one time

You can over water your trees by watering too often


Now that I’ve passed along some important information about watering, we’ll get back to Step 2: Designing the Orchard Layout tomorrow.

God Bless,

The Artistic Desert Gardener



Filed under Fruit Trees/Orchard, Watering

2 responses to “August – Watering Fruit Trees

  1. Hi Lois,
    Great question. I test the soil with my moisture meter on my scheduled watering days (before I water) to confirm the need to water that day. If the soil is still moist, I hold off on watering until the next day or so. This is especially important if there are any temperature changes (hot or cold) and if there has been rain or wind. If the weather and temperatures have been consistent with no extreme changes, I’ll just go ahead and keep to my schedule without testing. I also keep a close eye on the trees themselves to make sure there are no signs of yellowing, dry or burnt looking leaves, etc.

    Also, if it’s really windy, whether or not it’s my scheduled watering day or not, I’ll test the soil with my meter the very next day to see how the winds impacted my soil’s moisture levels.

    This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s not. It’s VERY easy to take a couple of seconds to slip the meter into the soil and view the instant moisture level reading. I also only check a couple of trees at a time in both the front and the back orchard. This gives me a good idea if I need to water or not. I also re-calibrate my moisture meter every couple of months to ensure accuracy of the reading. For my soil moisture meter, this involves a quick slip of the meter into a cup of water and a simple turn of the dial to make any adjustments.

    Hope that answers your question.

  2. Lois Zablockis

    How often do you have to check to see if the trees have the correct amount of water?

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