Wilbur O. Bowers
Richard L. Snyder
Susan B. Southard
Brenda J. Lanini
former Staff Research Associate
Cooperative Extension, Davis
UC Cooperative Extension
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Leaflet 21463 If you have comments or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last reviewed December 19, 2002
Water-Holding Characteristics of California Soils
A good irrigation sachedule provides for delivery of adequate water at intervals desinged to maintain desired plant pe;rformance. The schedule is an attempt to use water efficiently. Cost as well as benefits must be carefully considered.
Good irrigation scheduling requires knowledge of crop water usage, plant root depth, and the soil's ability to store and supply water as needed. This leaflet contains information on the ability of various California soils to store and supply water, and guidelines on how much water to deplete between irrigations. For additional information on irrigation management, see the following UC Cooperative Extension Leaflets; Determining Daily Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) (21426), Using Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) and Crop Coefficients to Estimate Crop Evapotranspiration (ETc) for Agronomic Crops, Grasses, and Vegetable Crops (21427), and Using Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) and Crop Coefficients to Estimate Crop Evapotranspiration (ETc) for Trees and Vines (21428).
This leaflet first discusses the concepts and terminology associated with soil water-holding characteristics, then it provides additional information on how managing soil water content affects crop yields. Finally, it gives an example on how to determine water-holding characteristics and allowable depletions using tables 1 and 2, which were derived from California soil surveys. Your local soil survey maps should be used in conjunction with this leaflet.