Adequate soil moisture is one of the most important aspects to growing avocados. Getting the balance wrong will lead to restriction of tree performance and possibly a decline in tree health. Each of the main growing regions in New Zealand have different soil types and different rainfall, presenting different challenges for soil moisture management. There is sufficient annual rainfall to meet the needs of the avocado trees in most growing regions, however this rainfall does not always occur consistently throughout the year.

Insufficient water will reduce the performance of avocado trees. New Zealand based research in the Bay of Plenty region has shown that spring soil moisture levels tend to be high enough going into flowering that any drought stress does not impact on fruit set. However, it was demonstrated that insufficient water during summer and autumn led to a reduction in fruit size, reduced dry matter and lower yield at harvest. Research investigating the water requirements of avocado trees across New Zealand’s main growing regions is on-going.

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