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Citrus Drip Line Irrigation Systems

Updated on March 14, 2011

Drip Lines

Installing a Drip line system to irrigate your citrus orange or lemon orchard allows you to save on labor, water, fertilizers and whatever source of energy you use to drive your pumps, whether that may be electricity, diesel or gas.

If your citrus orchard is in a location that does not get too much rain in the hotter months than installing a drip line system will increase your yield. Drip lines allow you to add fito-pharmaceuticals and necessary nutrients into the system to adequately and homogeneously nourish your citrus orchard.

A well designed drip line system will give you many years of hassle free maintenance. The drips in the line should be of the auto compensating pressure type and of the self-cleaning type.

Various drip line manufacturers supply the lines in 100m to 400m rolls that you can cut off according to the layout of your orchard. The embedded drips in the line can come between 25cm to 1m distance from the other drip.

Each and every drip under pressure can debit between 2 to 5 liters of water per hour. It is essential to choose the right drip spacing and debit for your growing orchard.

Calculate your pumping station requirements in choosing the right drip line, keeping in mind that your orchard will require more water every year as they grow until reaching maturity and of course pending on dry weather conditions.

A good irrigation yields a good crop
A good irrigation yields a good crop

Let’s say for example you have 1 hectare of clear land that you what to plant a particular citrus variety.

That is 10,000m2 area or 100m x 100m to make it even simpler. You choose 5m row spacing’s between tree lines and on each and every line you plant a tree every 3m.

That is 20 tree lines and 33.3 trees to every line, coming to a total of 666 trees on that 1 hectare.

Now you install the drip lines firstly close to the foot of the tree and as they grow you pull the lines farther away from the tree.

Each tree line should have two parallel running drip lines with the trees in the middle.

The drip line you have chosen have embedded drips every 1 meter and they debit 3.5 liters of water every hour. 200 drips each tree line x 20 tree lines that equals to 4000 drips in that 1 hectare that equals to 14,000 liters of water per hour maximum when the orchard is mature.

Of course you will only be using less than a third of that water in the beginning.

There are drip sealer rings that you can install after testing your system and you remove them in phases through the years as the orchard grows.

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