Cape Flora SA recently posted a few pointers for fynbos growers in the Western Cape who currently lack irrigation water. This is at least 50% of the Cape Province production area. The pointers could help prevent plant losses and minimise the effects of the drought on the crop.
What to do
- Do not change the length of irrigation that your plant is accustomed to.
- If you need to maintain shoot length, reduce the expected number of new shoots by the same percentage that you are going to reduce the total irrigation water.
- To give less water, reduce the number of irrigations by increasing the interval between irrigations from the start of the irrigation season. Therefore, if your water has been cut by 25%, give 25% less irrigations of the same length as before.
- The tendency would be to install moisture probes to allow better monitoring of available water. Do not, however, significantly change the irrigation quantity of mature plantations to what new probes indicate since the plants cannot change their root systems to accommodate a significant change in irrigation. –Cape Flora SA