Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Crop Science


Horticulture and Crop Science


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Lauren C. Garner

Advisor Department

Horticulture and Crop Science

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


A one-year study was conducted in the Central Coast of California at a commercial vineyard to evaluate the effect of supplemental irrigation on dry-farmed Vitis vinifera L. cv. Zinfandel with varying vine ages during the 2021 growing season. The experimental block was historically dry-farmed on own-rooted Zinfandel vines, older vines were replaced as production quality decreased with a genetically identical scion grafted onto St. George (Vitis vinifera Scheel) rootstock. Six total treatments were included in this study, with Young vines (5 to 12 years old), Old vines (40 to 60 years old), and Control (2:1 ratio of old to young vines, and representation of the block). Each vine age treatment included both non-irrigated and irrigated vines, the total vine sample contained half irrigated and half non-irrigated. Irrigation was manually applied at véraison and véraison + 4 weeks, based on age-specific ETc, and to replenish 95% ETc. Results indicated no significant changes in phenological progression, leaf senescence, and physical berry analysis caused by supplemental irrigation during key developmental stages. Vine age was the primary driver of significant variation observed for most parameters. However, irrigated vines had slightly higher phenological progression leading up to harvest, although not statistically significant. Due to this minor trend, irrigated vines in each vine age group were harvested before the non-irrigated vines starting with young, control, and old vines. Additionally, lower leaf water potential was found at pre-dawn during the second irrigation application at véraison + 4 weeks. Applying supplemental irrigation during the growing season resulted in no significant impacts on vine performance. Results suggest the potential for implementing a dry-farmed management in vineyards to help adapt to climate changes and water scarcity issues.