Mangifera indica L. cv. Kent trees were subjected to five irrigation treatments during the 2000/2001 growing season with the aim of assessing the effects of irrigation on tree productivity and fruit quality. Two progressively reduced irrigation treatments (75 and 50% of the amount of irrigation water applied to the control), a control (100% field capacity), a regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) treatment and a farm control were compared with each other. Fruit yield, number and mean fruit weight were not significantly influenced by the different irrigation treatments. Peel colour and storage potential were improved in the reduced irrigation treatments. The RDI treatment improved the total soluble solids concentration (TSS) of fruits but increased the occurrence of split pit. Fruit firmness was not significantly influenced by the different irrigation treatments. In the second experiment, 'Kent' trees were covered with white shade netting of four mesh densities (50, 75, 100 and 125 g m-2) on a long¬term basis, while control trees remained uncovered. During the 2000/2001 growing season, light shading (50 g m-2) increased the yield and fruit numbers above that of control trees, while, heavier shading decreased the yield and fruit number below that of the control with the most dense net (125 g m-2) having the greatest affect. Peel colour, firmness and total soluble solids (TSS) at harvest were not affected by shading while the heaviest shade (125 g m-2) reduced storage potential of the fruit. Shading improved the appearance of fruits through the reduction of split pit, sunburn and wind damage. No fruit damage caused by bacterial black spot was observed in any of the shade treatments or the control.
Dissertation (M Inst Agrar (Horticultural Science))--University of Pretoria, 2006.