Chapter 15

Water Quality for Irrigating Vineyards

Individual Elements

In addition to salinity and sodium hazard of irrigation water, grapevines are injured by excess amounts of other elements, notably chloride and boron and to some extent iron and manganese. Tolerances vary among grapevine varieties and rootstocks.


Although chloride is essential to vines in very low amounts, it can cause toxicity to sensitive grapevines at high concentrations. Excess chloride may lead to leaf injury in grapevines and a resultant reduction in vine performance.


Grapevines are also quite sensitive to boron. Boron injury is typically drying, yellowing and spotting along the tips and edges of older leaves.


Iron (Fe) may be present in a soluble (ferrous) form, which may create emitter clogging problems at concentrations as low as 0.1 ppm.


Manganese occurs in groundwater less commonly than iron and generally in smaller amounts. Like iron, manganese in solution may precipitate out as a result of chemical or biological activity, forming sediment that clogs emitters and other system components.

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