In a 2018 study by the CSIR, focussing on the water use and requirements of apples trees, research team leader, Dr Sebinasi Dzikiti, says that apple trees in a high production orchard drink between 80 and 136 glasses of water a day. This equates to 30 000 to 45 000 litres per hectare per day, depending on leaf area. He does however emphasise that this is very complex, and that the calculation depends on a variety of factors.
Creating optimal conditions in the greenhouse
The growth of a plant is highly dependent on the conditions it is in. There are many aspects to be examined. Has the plant received the right amount of water and nutrients at the right time; has it suffered from any diseases and was it exposed to the perfect climatic conditions? For sustainability and better profitability, the producer, without any doubt, wants each plant to achieve optimal growth, reach its full genetic potential and deliver a high yield in both quantity and quality. To achieve this, conditions must be optimal. To ensure optimal conditions year-round, the producer must be able to control these conditions. “In a greenhouse, the purpose is to modify the environment to create optimal conditions for plant growth,” explains Jerry Austen, product manager at Netafim South Africa.