Limpopo avocado growers prove the value of ridging

Kosie Eloff and his son Manie in Limpopo were forced to re-establish their avocado orchards on two separate occasions. Rather than merely repeating the exercise, they used it as an opportunity to introduce ridging in some of their orchards and compare the results with non-ridged orchards.

When Kosie re-established avocados on the farm in 1991, a tractor and plough were used for soil preparation. Kosie admits that in hindsight, this was inadequate. “The soil needs to be properly ripped much deeper to loosen it up.”

Up to this point, all the avocado trees, which were of the Hass variety, were planted on level lands. When the Eloffs needed to replace the damaged orchards, they decided to try planting on ridges, which was the prevailing method at the time.

This gave them an ideal opportunity to compare production between trees planted on level land and those planted on ridges. In addition, some of the ridged trees were watered by micro-irrigation, and others by low-flow drip irrigation, which allowed another factor to be compared.


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