A Guide to Fertilizing Grapes

After reading this paper you will have a more complete understanding of grape nutrition. This paper is a summary of several sources of university publications, books and personal communications that will give the reader the necessary information on fertilization of grapes. In general most growers will use an off the shelf fertilizer analysis for grapes, when in reality vineyards are like any other living thing that requires different nutrients in different ratios depending on the soil type, native material, and other amendments that may be distributed around them.

Optimum grape growth and quality requires optimum fertility conditions. Most producers appreciate that Vinifera, Lambrusca, and Concord species have their own unique requirements. Supplying these unique requirements starts with identifying the present soil and leaf conditions with coordinated soil and plant analysis. Proper fertility pays dividends year after year. Improvements in the first year will not likely be seen by the eye, but the greatest gain will likely be in the following years with better color, more dense clusters, and optimum growth. All of this results in more top-quality grapes for a long time.

The paper discusses the importance of soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertility of grapes. And it does not end here; the paper goes into the secondary nutrients of calcium, magnesium and sulfur and their usage as well as application recommendations. From here the grower can also fine tune their fertility program further by looking at boron, zinc, manganese, copper and iron requirements of grapes.

Fertilizing Grapes (268KB)