Over time, we replaced the inefficient furrow irrigation system with water-saving micro-sprinklers and experimented with several different sprinkler models before using the lowest-maintenance model.
We normalized irrigation pressures and schedules, built-up soils with mulch, and planted a new block of specialty citrus varieties to complement our old valencias. With our diligent work, this sick, neglected orchard became a beautiful model grove, producing yields well above the average for its age.
Proper tree pruning by hand and orchard topping/hedging by machine are operations which have a direct bearing on productivity and fruit size/quality within a property. While expensive and time-consuming, this investment has taken place over many years at Yorba Linda, resulting in larger fruit sizing, with minimal wind scarring. With these multiple-year operations, the pack-out of this orchard has now increased to 80-86%.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a preferred method of dealing with various pests and was also an important horticultural operation implemented in Yorba Linda. This is quite simply, the release of good bugs to eat the bad bugs, rather than the use of harmful pesticides. In conjunction with the ground applied fertilizers, we also use nutrient-rich foliar sprays selectively throughout the year.