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  • Author or Editor: Martha E. Ibarra-Estrada x
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This research was carried out from 2004 to 2005 in two commercial ‘Hass’ avocado orchards cultivated under rainfed conditions in a hot subhumid climate of the state of Nayarit, Mexico. The objectives of this study were to: 1) establish the patterns in nutrient concentrations during the lifespan of winter and summer vegetative flush leaves; and 2) validate a methodology based on mathematical functions to identify the appropriate period for leaf sampling to diagnose plant nutrition in avocado considering its two major vegetative flushes. Leaf samples were taken monthly for each vegetative flush, starting when leaf length was 5 cm or greater and concluding at leaf abscission. Starting at vegetative budbreak, winter and summer leaves lived 12.5 and 7.8 months, respectively. Summer flush leaves grew faster and attained greater length than winter leaves. A mathematical model based on the concentration of macro- and micronutrients through the lifespan of avocado leaves was evaluated. This model was used to determine the period when nutrient concentrations became stable and, consequently, to identify the proper leaf sampling period. For the ‘Hass’ avocado in Nayarit, the period for sampling winter flush leaves corresponded to 6.6- to 7.9-month-old leaves (4 Sept. to 13 Oct.). For summer leaves the optimum period was shorter and occurred when leaves were 3.9 to 4.9 months old (5 Dec. to 5 Jan.). The procedure and sampling time obtained here should be tested in other regions.

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