The drip irrigation system is the most efficient for growing grapes.
Advantages of the drip irrigation system in vineyards:
The main advantages of drip irrigation are listed below:
- High application efficiency. Irrigation water is not lost due to runoff or evaporation.
- Minimum number of irrigation sectors . Compared with other irrigation systems such as sprinklers or blanket irrigations, with the same flow we can irrigate a larger area at the same time.
- Minimal infiltration problems . When irrigated drop by drop, there is no runoff that is lost by rapid infiltration.
- Lost by evaporation minimal.
- The wind does not affect the distribution. Wind affects considerably sprinkler systems.
- Reduction of diseases due to a reduction in humidity in the aerial part of the plant and in the environment. Flooding and sprinkling are systems that produce favorable conditions for the development of fungal diseases.
- It does not interfere with the rest of the work in the vineyard. The drip irrigation installation does not usually bother for the rest of the tasks that we carry out in the vineyard. The machinery can be used while we are watering.
- Ease of applying fertilizers. The installation is used to distribute the nutrients and apply them in the appropriate doses and times, already dissolved in water, so they are more effective and localized, so we also save in kilograms of fertilizer.
- Low maintenance. Cheaper installation costs than other irrigation systems.
- The topography of the plot is not determining and there is the possibility of using self-compensating drippers in irregular geographies.
- Reduction of weeds , since the surface of wet soil is less.
- Lower pumping costs , since the drip irrigation system can work at a much lower pressure than other systems.
- Lower risk of erosion.
- Constant water availability at any time.
Disadvantages of the drip irrigation system in vineyards:
The drawbacks are few and some of them are solved by making proper use of the drip irrigation system:
- Ease of clogging , if it is not properly maintained or a suitable filtering system is not used.
- The frost-fighting system cannot be used as with sprinkling.
- Increased risk of soil acidification .
- Greater risk of nutrient washing , if the irrigation system is not used properly.
- Need for a precise design , especially in sandy soils.
Conclusions on the vine drip irrigation system:
The number of advantages is much greater than that of disadvantages, and the disadvantages are not excessively limiting, therefore, we affirm that the ideal irrigation system for growing grapes is drip.
Another interesting issue to discuss is the decision to water or not water the vine crop, but this is pending for another article.
For a good installation and a good functioning of the system, some preliminary studies must be carried out. Dripper type selection, precipitation, dripper spacing, and filtration needs must be carefully evaluated during facility design.
There are drippers with different flow rates of irrigation water.
The separation of the drippers according to the type of soil is a very important factor. In sandy soils, distances of 50 cm between drippers are recommended, while in clay soils the distances can be up to 1 meter.
Every crop has a need.
As you can see, there are many factors that will condition the installation and operation of drip irrigation, so in these cases it is best to be advised by professionals in the field.