Root vegetables require frequent irrigations for optimal quality. As many as 8-10 irrigations and 10-12 inches of water per acre may be necessary depending on seasonal variation, variety, and planting date. Soil type does not affect the amount of total water needed, but does dictate frequency of water application. Lighter soils need more frequent water applications, but less water applied per application.
Drip irrigation will improve marketable yield and performance and reduce irrigation inefficiencies associated with other irrigation methods. Root vegetables are sensitive to water stress. Critical times when irrigation can improve productivity include during establishment (seeding); during rapid leaf growth; and as the roots size. Different irrigation methods are used to irrigate root vegetables, each with different management considerations. Use sprinkler irrigation to help establish the crops then switch over to furrow or drip irrigation. Irrigate when about 40% of the soil available water is depleted. Root crops require approximately 1-2 inches of water per week. Excessive irrigation can cause root splitting, cracking, and poor color development.