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Drip Irrigation for Grapevines

Homeowners who grow their own grapevines understand that the hard work that goes into their care rewards them with big, tasty, abundant grapes. Home grapevine growers are always on the lookout for methods to make viticulture easier. Whether you grow them to eat the fruit or to make wine, consider drip irrigation for your grapevines.

  1. Grape Culture

    • Grapes grow in full sun in well-drained soil. The vineyards clinging to rocky Italian hillsides indicate the grapevine's tolerance for poor soil and its need for drainage. Not heavy feeders, grapevines require minimal fertilization. Over-fertilization leads to excessive green growth at the expense of fruit production. Newly planted grapevines take three or four years to bear fruit.

    Drip Irrigation

    • Drip irrigation usually consists of a network of small hoses that deliver water to the base of plants. The water slowly drips from hose fittings above the soil or directly into the soil through drip irrigation spikes. Drip irrigation can be controlled manually from the spigot or automatically with a timer.


    • Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the root zone of the grapevine, where it is needed. It sharply reduces waste by eliminating over-spray and evaporation from hose-end or sprinkling applications. It also facilitates the deep watering that grapevine requires. Drip irrigation reduces the likelihood of fungal diseases by keeping the leaves and fruit dry. Important during dry years, some municipalities allow exemptions for the use of drip irrigation during drought-related water restrictions.


    • There is a drip irrigation system for every budget. Systems are available at garden centers, home centers and online gardening retailers. Soaker hoses are an easy-to-install and economical form of drip irrigation. Fully grown grapevines growing in good soil in climates with moderate temperatures and rainfall should be watered deeply every two or three weeks. Grapevines in wetter or cooler areas require less or no irrigation, while those in hot and dry climates require as much as eight or 10 gallons a day.