1- What is vine fertigation?

As its name indicates, the fertigation of the vineyard is the contribution of nutrients to the vineyard plants through the irrigation water.

2- What are the advantages of fertigation in vineyards?

Advantages of drip vine fertilization

  • The water and nutrients are applied directly to the root system of the vineyard.
  • As the nutrients are dissolved in the water, their absorption by the plants is much faster.
  • The amount of nutrient and the exact type of nutrient can be supplied at the right moment ( vineyard fertigation plan ).
  • We take advantage of the irrigation network already installed to distribute the fertilizer . We save ourselves the trouble of distributing it.
  • In case of having some nutritional deficiency of the vine cultivation, a very fast and effective response can be given.
  • Saving water and nutrients.

3- Vineyard fertigation requires basic knowledge

Before starting, we must have some prior knowledge about our cultivation, our soil, the water that we are going to use and the needs that our vineyard is going to have.

As a general rule we must know:

  • We must know the nutritional needs of the vineyard .
  • Know the characteristics of the water used (pH, electrical conductivity, etc.).
  • Know how to change UF units ( fertilizer units ) to kilograms of fertilizer used.
  • Know the needs of the vineyard throughout the vegetative cycle to distribute the nutrient according to need.

4- What are the subscriber needs for vine plants?

To know the amount and type of fertilizer necessary, we must first know:

  1. What is the state of our soil and what amount of fertilizer you currently have. This is done through a soil analysis, which will inform us of the type of soil we have, nutrients, organic matter, texture….
  2. What are the annual nutritional needs of the vineyard, and when it needs the nutrients.

Vineyard nutrient extractions

The nutrients in the soil are depleted, washed away by the rain, extracted by the crops … ultimately they are consumed, and we must maintain the appropriate level in the soil, so that the plant has them easily available.

Once we know what we have in the soil and what the vineyard consumes annually, we can deduce what nutrients, in what quantities, and when we should provide them.

We attach a table with the UF necessary for the nutrition of the vineyard during the first 5 years.

Fertilization of the vine during the first 5 years in FU per Ha

N (nitrogeno) P2O5 (Phosphorus) K2O (Potassium)
Year 1 20 20 20
Year 2 40 40 40
Year 3 60 60 60
Year 4 80 80 80
Year 5 80 40 120
Source: IVIA. UF: Fertilizer Units.

5- What is UF or Fertilizer Unit?

UF is the way to express the needs of the crop, since each fertilizer has a richness. Better with an example:

Example of calculation of Kg of fertilizer in UF

Calculate the Kg of 12-12-17 Nitrofoska fertilizer that we have to contribute to a 5-year-old vineyard.

The 5-year-old vine, and according to the table we have to contribute 80UF of N, 40UF of P and 120UF of K.

The fertilizer that we have is a common complex, Nitrofosca 12-12-17. These numbers mean that in 100Kg of fertilizer we have 12 UF of N, 12 UF of P and 17UF of K.

We make a rule of 3: if there are 12 FUs of N in 100kg of fertilizer, I have to contribute about 650 kg of fertilizer per Ha / year.

Now, if I distribute about 650kg of nitrophoska, I will be providing the necessary N, twice the necessary Phosphorus, and not enough K, for this reason in vineyard fertigation, not complex fertilizers are usually used, but individual nutrients.

6- What fertilizer to use in vineyard fertigation?

The most common fertilizers

  • Nitrogen Contribution: The most used nitrogen fertilizer is 33.5% soluble ammonium nitrate, which has a high solubility, is acidifying and has a high richness. As liquid fertilizers, solutions N-32 and N-20 can be used.
  • Phosphorus Contribution: Phosphoric acid is recommended as phosphate fertilizer. Different riches are offered in the market (75%, 55%). The advantages of using phosphoric acid together with nitrogen and potassium are that it acidifies the nutrient solution and keeps the facility clean and facilitates the solubility of potassium.
  • Potassium Contribution: Potassium nitrate (13-0-46) can be used as potassium fertilizer, which has a slightly alkaline reaction so it should be used together with other acidifying products to avoid clogging. In addition, somewhat cheaper potassium sulfate (0-0-50) or potassium chloride (0-0-60) with a slight alkaline reaction and greater solubility can be used.

✅ Soluble fertilizers for irrigation

The following table shows the doses of water to apply per month and the percentage of each nutrient that must be provided.

Average irrigation dose for vineyard per Ha and% of distribution paid per month.

MY  Table grapes Grape wine N % P2O5% K2O %
January  0 0
February  0 0
March 200 m3/Ha 150 m3/Ha 15 15 15
April 250 m3/Ha 200 m3/Ha 25 25 25
Mayo 400 m3/Ha 325 m3/Ha 20 20 20
June 550 m3/Ha 450 m3/Ha 20 20 20
July 650 m3/Ha 500 m3/Ha 15 15 15
August 600 m3/Ha 450 m3/Ha 5 5 5
September 400 m3/Ha 300 m3/Ha
October 250 m3/Ha 200 m3/Ha
November  0 0
December  0 0
TOTAL 3300 m3/Ha 2575 m3/Ha 100% 100% 100%
IVIA source

The following table is a recommendation of the fertilizer units per Ha / year to obtain a production between 15-20,000 Kg per Ha in trellis, 100% of the nutrient to be supplied.

Fertilization of the trellis vineyard according to the EC of irrigation water for 15-20t / Ha.

THIS N (nitrogeno) P2O5 (Phosphorus) K2O (Potassium)
0-2 60-80 UF 30-40 UF 90-100 UF
2-4 80-100 UF 40-50 UF 120-150 UF
4-6 100-120 UF 50-60 UF 150-180 UF

Dr. Sofia Seccombe

My name is Dr. Sofia Seccombe, and in this small section, I want to tell you who I am and why I started this project. I don't want to bore you, but I consider that it is an important part of godlywine. It serves as an exercise in transparency so that the person who reads the articles can be sure that the information is reliable.

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