Irrigation of grape and pomegranate by using soil sensors in Apulia Region, Italy

G. Ferrara, M. Denora, A. Mazzeo
Soil and plant water status can be monitored through different devices, each having advantages and drawbacks. Some plant/soil sensors, such as soil matric potential sensors, can play a key role in scheduling irrigation in orchards and vineyards managed by a more water-efficient use. Soil matric potential (Ψm) is an indicator that can be used for irrigation since it can be easily automated with on-time data acquisition. The midday stem water potential (Ψstem) is considered a very reliable and accurate indicator of plant water status, but it cannot be automated. The Ψm values, automatically collected with data loggers and transmitted through Internet connection on mobile phones/laptops, allowed to keep a good water status for both wine grape and pomegranate. The mean Ψm values at 25 and 50 cm depth showed a good correlation with Ψstem, indicating that midday stem water potential could be estimated by using Ψm values, thus saving time and labor. Since the Ψstem is a reliable indicator of the plant water condition, with Ψm soil sensors, we could either manage irrigation or estimate Ψstem values in a much easier and faster way than using the Scholander chamber (or the pump-up chamber).
Ferrara, G., Denora, M. and Mazzeo, A. (2022). Irrigation of grape and pomegranate by using soil sensors in Apulia Region, Italy. Acta Hortic. 1335, 349-354
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1335.43
stem potential, matric potential, vapor pressure, soil temperature

Acta Horticulturae