Grapevine Nutrition

A good vineyard manager encourages a balance between vine growth and fruit production achieved through pruning and soil nutrition. Dr. Paul Domoto, pomology and viticulture researcher and fruit extension specialist at Iowa State University, presented at the 2012 Eastern Viticulture workshop in Mystic CT.

Before Planting

Understand a field’s crop history to ensure residual herbicides will influence grape vines’ health and vigor. Previously grown alfalfa leave soils too high in Nitrogen. Before planting grapes, grow an annual crop to utilize that Nitrogen. Old vegetable fields often have excess levels of Potassium or Phosphates.

Soil Tests

Start with a good soil test. Use the USDANRCS Web Soil Survey to determine the areas on your field with various soil types. Determine soil drainage characteristics of each area. Run a separate soil test for each soil type, grape type and/or treatment plan. (i.e. irrigation, fertilizer programs, etc.) Collect soil samples at two depths, the top 6 to 8” and another sample of the parent material 12 to 16” deep. Tell the lab your intended crop and cultivar; request organic matter as well as micro and macronutrient analysis. [more]

About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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