Iron sulphate grape processing: disease control and preventative measures

The modern market is replete with new-fangled remedies against pests of garden crops. But there are also old ones, proven like iron sulfate, which is used to process grapes for the prevention and control of crop diseases.

Iron sulfate: pros and cons of use

FeSO 4, an inorganic compound, an iron salt of sulfuric acid, looks like granules or powder of light green color, sometimes with a gray (brownish) tint.

The crystals of iron sulfate are light green in color, sometimes with a gray or brownish tint.

As an insecticidal agent, vitriol has several advantages:

  • significant cheapness, which is especially important when processing large areas of soil;
  • low toxicity, lower than that of copper sulfate, oxychoma and other similar agents;
  • wide range of applications.

However, the drug also has disadvantages:

  • high hygroscopicity, due to which iron sulfate must be stored in a tightly closed waterproof container;
  • rapid oxidation of the solution, which requires its immediate use after preparation;
  • period of protective action no more than two weeks;
  • easy washability by rain;
  • high acidity and, as a result, a high probability of burns of leaves and buds, which begin to bloom. Spraying is possible only in spring or autumn, when there is no greenery and young growth on the vine bushes;
  • incompatibility with lime and organophosphorus compounds.

Iron sulfate should be stored in a moisture-resistant container: plastic or glass

Use of vitriol in viticulture

Grapes are a very popular fruit crop in the gardens of the south and center of Russia, but the sweetest and most fruitful varieties are more often affected by fungal diseases. Treatment with iron sulfate prevents the spread of infections, protects the shrub from chlorosis and prevents the growth of mosses and lichens.

Healthy, harvest-rich vines are easier to grow if the plot is treated with iron sulfate in a timely manner.

Grape Disease Control

A 4–5% solution of iron sulfate (400–500 g of the drug per 10 l) helps to cure diseases such as:

  • powdery mildew (oidium). It affects leaves, inflorescences, and subsequently fruits. It is especially common in regions with mild winters and early warm spring. When severely damaged, the mycelium of the fungus covers leaves and bunches with a gray coating, the berries burst and turn outward in flesh. The disease significantly reduces productivity;

    Powdery mildew berries burst and turn out flesh outward

  • downy mildew (mildew). The first sign of an ailment is the appearance of yellow, reddish or brown spots on the leaves. On the reverse side, a fluffy whitish coating of mycelium is noticeable. Sick berries soften and acquire a lilac shade. With extensive damage, the bush may lose all foliage and yield;

    The berries of grapes affected by mildew completely lose their presentation

  • anthracnose. Young green parts of the plant are most susceptible to the disease. Brown spots on leaves and shoots increase rapidly, tissues dry out and become brittle. Affected berries are deformed and crumble, not having time to ripen.

    When anthracnose, the affected areas of the plant dry out and die

Due to a lack of iron, plants develop chlorosis. His symptoms:

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  • blanching, yellowing and reduction in leaf size while maintaining the green color of the veins;
  • deformation and falling of buds, flowers;
  • drying out of shoots.

Chlorosis develops in a plant due to a lack of iron

When signs of the disease appear, the bushes themselves and the soil are treated with a solution of iron sulfate at the rate of 50 granules per 10 liters of water. It is completely safe for plants and will not cause burns. Spray 1 time in 5-7 days until the restoration of the juicy green color of the leaves.

To clean the bark of mosses in early spring, you need to treat the bushes with a 3% solution of iron sulfate - to protect against wintering pests. Spraying should be done carefully, trying to ensure that the solution enters the cracks in the cortex, where parasites and spores of pathogenic fungi can find refuge.

Inhibition of kidney growth in spring

The climate has changed in recent years, and in the middle of spring the risks of return frosts are high. If you spray the bushes with a 3-4% solution of iron sulfate 5-7 days after removing winter shelters, a thin protective film forms on the surface of the plant. This will stop kidney growth for 10-14 days and help prevent plant death in the event of a sudden cold snap.

In order for grape cuttings to take root better, before planting in the soil they can be treated with a 0.5% solution of iron sulfate. So, the plant stops the growth of the aerial part, but the root system is developing intensively. The shrub will be more resistant to diseases and weather changes.

In regions with a warm climate, where there is no need to delay the spring growth of the kidneys, combined sprayings are carried out: copper sulfate is used in the spring, and iron sulfate is used in the fall. It is important to choose a dry and windless day for processing when it is not expected to rain in the next day so that the product does not wash off the plant.

Autumn Preventative Treatment

After the leaves fall off, it is time to cover the shrub for the winter. But first, it is recommended that the vines and soil be thoroughly treated with a 3-5% solution of iron sulfate. This will significantly reduce the risk of diseases next year due to the death of wintering pests and fungal spores.

The effectiveness of autumn processing will be nullified if you do not remove plant debris from fallen planting rows: fallen leaves, clusters. In them, harmful pathogens overwinter safely, and then in the spring, damage to the bush is inevitable.

Precautions for working with iron sulfate

Although iron sulfate is not considered a toxic substance, treatment of plants is carried out with the observance of protective measures:

  • should not be allowed to spill, dispel powder to avoid getting into the respiratory tract;
  • it is necessary to use rubber gloves, a gauze bandage, a respirator, as well as protective clothing and glasses to prevent damage to the skin and mucous membranes;
  • after treatment, thoroughly wash your hands and face, rinse your mouth.

The composition is prepared in a non-metallic container, glass or plastic, and carefully monitored to dissolve all crystals.

Keep the powder out of the reach of children and animals, and use the solution on the day of preparation.

Iron sulfate continues to be a necessary remedy against pests of grapes, despite the emergence of new drugs. Timely use of the composition in strict accordance with the instructions will give its results at the end of the season. The yield of healthy and strong vines is much higher.


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