water supply has a lot to do with the quality of the date crop. However, there
are favored regions where no irrigation is needed because the level of the
ground water is high.
Date growing is
inseparable from artificial irrigation, wherever the industry has reached high
If it were to
be asked, “How much water should be given the palm?” the most general answer
would be “all there is”. Irrigation is only limited by the amount of water
available. The ditch under the palm should never dry out; therefore, daily
watering is the ideal in some regions. Sufficient drainage must exist so the
palm will flourish under these conditions. It is common for palms to suffer from
lack of air where there is heavy irrigation without drainage.
In some regions
where there is not enough water available, palms are likely to be watered once
or twice a week, or perhaps once or twice a month. Such factors as size of head,
character of the soil, length of the ditch, and length of time the water is
allowed to run determines the amount of water put on at any given irrigation.
Usually, irrigation is less at some times of the year such as in winter, when
water may be applied once a month. In regions with mild winters, more frequent
irrigation is desirable because palms continue to grow throughout the year.
It is wrong to
assume that if a lot of water is good, more is better. The soil fertility will
be washed out, and the constant flooding with cold water will lower the
temperature of the ground, causing dates to ripe several weeks later than usual.
Generally, the bulk of its feeding roots are within 2 m (about 7 feet) of the
surface, where most of the soil fertility is. In most desert regions, water
supply is limited; therefore, the expanding of date growing depends on the
careful use of all water available. However, it is in the interest of all that
the technique of irrigation be as perfect as possible. Though experience, one
learns when to turn water on and off.
reasonable to assume that the palm, like other plants, can use no more than the
optimum moisture content of the soil. The most important points (to remember)
The soil must be prepared to receive water.
Enough water (not too much) must be applied.
Water must be brought to the land with minimum loss and also minimized
loss by evaporation.
Raw land, which
has never been under cultivation, takes water badly. Before planting date palms,
it is wise to plant a crop such as barley, because the roots of the grain will
improve the mechanical condition of the soil, breaking up the earth and leaving
vertical channels down which water can pass. Thus, the moisture content will be
gradually raised. If alfalfa is grown as the next crop, the raw land will also
More information about Irrigation