Thanks for the rains that leach the soils of accumulated salts and bring on new fresh growth. Or maybe not. When we apply irrigation water with salts which with few exceptions we do in irrigated agriculture, salts accumulate in the soil. They accumulate in a certain pattern depending on the type of irrigation and soil type. There's a strong tendency for drip and microsprinklers to form a pattern of salt accumulation near the margins of the wetted patterns. This pattern is stronger with drip because the source point is always pushing a front outward from the emission point. This pattern occurs with microsprinklers, as well, although not as strongly. These patterns continue to form and accumulate as long as there is no rainfall to evenly push the salt down below the root zone. The longer the period of no rain, the larger the salt concentration at the margin.
So the way water moves is generally down. It moves in a wetting front drawn by gravity. It moves laterally too, because of the attraction water has for the soil particles. It will move laterally more in a clay soil than in a sandy soil because there are more particles in a clay soil than a sand (actually more surfaces that hold water). It also carries salt with it. Wherever the water moves, the salt moves. The more rain, the more salt is moved down. The more rain, the deeper the salt is pushed.
The problem with rain, is that if there is not enough, the salt tends to move laterally. In this wet soil solution, the salt is moving from where it is concentrated, to where there is a lower one. And if there isn't enough rain to move that salt down, it just moves back along the salt gradient, back to where the water first came from…….towards the roots. And that salt may be at such a high concentration that it can cause plant damage.
We talk about effective rainfall. This is usually about a quarter of an inch of rain. This is the amount of water to do more than just wet the dust, it's the amount to move water into the root zone. It is also moving salts into the root zone which can be a real problem. A good rain will do more than wet the dust, it will also move the salts out of harm's way in the root zone. The amount of rain necessary to do this is going to depend on the salt accumulated and the soil texture. The more salt, the more rain needed. The finer the texture, the more rain.
So there is no good cookbook, other than you need enough. And the first rains of the year, watch out. This is often when there is the highest salt accumulation and in the fall when we have the most irregular rains. Small rain amounts that can move salt into the root zone. A rule of thumb is a minimum of a good one inch rain event or combined rain events of two inches in a short period is needed to dissolve and move the salts out of the avocado root zone's top 18 inches. The more the better.
If there is not enough rain……………The solution !!!!!!!! Run the irrigation system to make sure there is enough to move that salt down.
Get ready to irrigate with the first rains if they are insufficient for adequate leaching.
Also get ready for the first smell of rain - petrichor.
Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra (πέτρα), meaning "stone", and īchōr (ἰχώρ), the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.
The term was coined in 1964 by two Australian CSIRO researchers, Isabel Joy Bear and Richard G. Thomas, for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, a metabolic by-product of certain actinobacteria, which is emitted by wet soil, producing the distinctive scent; ozone may also be present if there is lightning. In a follow-up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed that the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth.
In 2015, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used high-speed cameras to record how the scent moves into the air. The tests involved approximately 600 experiments on 28 different surfaces, including engineered materials and soil samples. When a raindrop lands on a porous surface, air from the pores forms small bubbles, which float to the surface and release aerosols. Such aerosols carry the scent, as well as bacteria and viruses from the soil. Raindrops that move at a slower rate tend to produce more aerosols; this serves as an explanation for why the petrichor is more common after light rains.
The human nose is extremely sensitive to geosmin and is able to detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion. Some scientists believe that humans appreciate the rain scent because ancestors may have relied on rainy weather for survival.
The English often call a fruit seed other names, like pip. A large pit could be called a stone. Avocado usually has a seed, and if not it turns out to be a small fruit, called a "cuke". Well that's a different story. Sometimes little hard stones form in the flesh that are unrelated to germination. These stones are unpredictable and uncommon. A friend has said that if an avocado gives you a stone, turn it into a pearl. These stones are that rare. Art Schroeder from UCLA described them without much attribution to their cause, but gave them a good name - sclerocarpelosis. You can read his description in the 1981 California Avocado Society Yearbook which is available at Avocado Source:
Sclerocarpelosis in Avocado Fruit
C. A. Schroeder
Department of Biology, University of California, Los Angeles.
A rather unusual case of malformation in avocado fruit has been noted recently. The
aberrant tissue structure is not detectable from external examination of the fruit. Upon
cutting the mature or nearly mature fruit, the aberrant tissue becomes evident in the
form of a stony layer of various degrees of development located in the otherwise soft
fleshy pericarp wall. A tentative name of sclerocarpelosis is used to describe this
condition. The term sclero refers to hardness of the stone cells, or sclereids, which are
the basic structural elements involved. Carpel refers to the fruit wall, and osis implies a
disease or disturbance of the plant or plant tissue.
The fruit is sometimes affected to an extent that it becomes inedible. Still other fruits
may contain small clusters of stone cells which would not be detected even if eaten.
Extremely affected fruits can have a stony layer 1 to 5 mm in thickness completely
surrounding the seed. This structure is suggestive in many ways of a peach pit which
envelops the peach seed.
The affected fruits have been observed on several trees at various locations in a very
large (1300 acres) avocado planting in Orange County, California. The orchards
involved are situated on gently rolling hills. The major portion of the trees bearing
abnormal fruits are found in low elevations or "pockets" where the effects of local
radiation frosts were observed to severely affect the trees during the 1979-80 winter
season. Many of the trees exhibited responses to frost injury such as unusual resprouts
and development of main structural limbs at points near the soil, severe bark and
sunburn injury due to unusual exposure as the result of loss of leaf canopy by frost, and
a general weakened appearance of the entire tree in comparison with nearby unaffected
Come Learn About Field Identification of Invasive Shot Hole Borers
We're holding two early December trainings on invasive polyphagous and Kuroshio shot hole borer biology, identification, surveillance, and management of infested trees and downed wood. We'll cover these topics in the classroom, then head outside to see infested trees and learn how to identify signs of shot hole borer damage, set up a monitoring program, and sample trees.
$30.00 Registration fee includes lunch, a ISHB Field Guide, and ISHB Demonstration Kit
Continuing Education Units from DPR have been requested, check back for updates.
Speakers include Sabrina Drill, UCCE Natural Resources Advisor; Bea Nobua-Behrmann, UCCE Research Scientist; Kim Corella, Forest Pest Specialist, CalFire; and Paul Rugman-Jones, Research Entomologist, UC Riverside.
Ventura County - Ojai - Dec.6
Meiners Oaks (Ojai) Class & Field Training at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church
Thursday December 6, 2018, 10am – 2:30pm
Los Angeles County - Gardena - Dec. 7th
Gardena Class & Field Training at Gardena Moneta Mason Lodge & Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve
Friday December 7, 2018, 10am – 3:00pm
- Author: Ben Faber
- Author: Mary Lu Arpaia
Of the many known varieties, they fall into three broad categories based on whether they are of the Mexican, Guatemalan or West Indian races of Persea americana, the avocado specie and the crosses that occur between these races. For example, ‘Hass' has the thick skin of the Guatemalan but turns black like a Mexican. Generally speaking, California varieties have been the result of crossing between the Mexican and Guatemalan races. West Indian race varieties are not common here because of their generally lower cold tolerance. There are lots of factors approaching the identification of an avocado and its origins, and here is a brief run down on those that need to be considered.
Is it a grafted tree, or is it a known variety with known characteristics which the tree can be compared to? Look for the change in bark texture at the base of the tree where the graft was made.
When you crush the leaf, does it have an anise smell (Mexican) or not?
Is the leaf edger smooth (Hass) or wavy (Zutano)?
Is the color of the new leaves red and turn green (Mexican) or are green (Guatemalan)?
Is it columnar (Bacon, Reed) or umbrella (Hass)?
Is the mature tree big (Hass) or under 20 feet in height (Holiday, Littlecado, Gwen)?
Is the fruit round (Nabal), pear shaped (Fuerte), thin necked (Pinkerton) or broad shouldered (Lamb-Hass)
Is it thick skinned (Guatemalan) or thin skinned (Mexican)?
Is it green when ripe (Guatemalan) or black (Mexican)?
Is it big (more than 16 ounces; Daily 11 is 5 pounds) or small (Mexicola is 5 ounces)?
When is fruit maturity; winter, spring, summer or fall?
The combination of all these factors go into describing a variety and distinguishes it from other varieties. When varieties have mixed parentage, they will take on those characteristics of each parent, so often the lines of either Mexican or Guatemalan get blurred.
In 1911, the avocado was a relatively new crop in Southern California and the great USDA plant explorer Wilson Popenoe (pronounced POP e Noe according to Jack Shepherd), describes avocado culture and its problems
This is from the first volume ever of the Pomona Journal of Economic Botany which also has a nice description of "wither tip" of citrus in Santa Paula.