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Home Vineyard Drip Irrigiation Questions

Posted by hoosierdoc 5 IN (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 2:33

I'm putting in a vineyard with 57 vines to start with (nice round number). There will be 7 rows with 9 plants each, spaced at 7' along the rows. I want to run a drip irrigation system down each row, connecting to a single pipe that runs perpendicular across the front of the rows. I am brand new to irrigation but have read one of the Lowe's books on it.

Questions I have:

1) Do I bury PVC pipe perpendicular across the rows to serve as the main distribution line, then run the drip lines vertically to the desired height, then horizontally down the rows?

2) What flow rates should I look for on a grape vine? It's sandy soil. I know... higher rate = less watering time...

3) We won't have an integrated irrigation system for several months, so can I just run a hose to the end of the buried PVC pipe and run it that way? We're going to have a 1.5hp variable-speed well pump so there'll be plenty of water and pressure to get it done.

My final goal is to tie this in as a separate zone in a complete automated sprinkler system. I'd appreciate any suggestions! The vines get planted Thursday.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Home Vineyard Drip Irrigiation Questions

hoosierdoc, the math does not add, er, multiply up.
A drip system ideally puts the water at the root of the plant. I picture the layout without the vertical element.
Run the main (supply) line at right angles to the drip (lateral) lines and locate an emitter at the base of each vine. The following is a quote from "Scientia Agricola", vol. 60, No. 2, June 2003 and gives some idea of the placement and spacing of emitters along the lateral lines.
"Grapevines were irrigated either by microsprinkler (flow rate of 40 L h-1 with a wetting radius of 2 m), spaced every 4 m along the plant row and centered between two plants, or by drip emitters (flow rate of 3.7 L h-1), spaced 1 m apart along a double drip line (10 cm distance between plant row and drip lines on either side of the grapevines)."
I approximate a Litre to be one quart, a metre to be 3ft. and be 4" for (my own) convenience. An hour appears to be the universal measurement!
The flow rate delivered by the pump will determine how many emitters can be operated at the same time.
By all means use a hose temporarily but I would advocate one with a "bursting strength" that will cope with the pressure and flow from the pump.
Hopes this helps.

RE: Home Vineyard Drip Irrigiation Questions

HI Hoosier,

Ron well said. Just one item; make sure there is a filter on your system close to the well that traps any sand or debris from your well. A small investment compared to system that gets clogged and is also automated. Even more important for bigger projects. Good Luck and let us know how the wine tastes we might come by for a sip.

RE: Home Vineyard Drip Irrigiation Questions

I run a 1/2" black plastic irrigation hose the length of the grapevine row studded with 1gph emitters every 2'. Do the math to figure out how long you need to keep the emitters on to deliver 2" water/week to the vines. I also attach the irrigation hose to the trellis about 18" up off the ground so it will not interfere with weeding and maintenance along the vine row or have thing trying to grow into the hose.

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