How Do You Fertilize Grapevines?

How Do You Fertilize Grapevines?

“What is the best fertilizer for a grapevine?” Question from Deb at Lynbrook, New York

Answer: The truth is that grapes don’t require too much fertilizer if the soil is right. In fact, excess fertilization of vines encourages stem and foliar growth and discourages flowering and fruiting. Just picture an established vineyard in Europe. The grapes are old, stunted, and often growing in dry regions, but the oldest, most gnarled vines on the most well-drained soil produce the best wine grapes. Still, a little food is recommended on a yearly basis.

Fertilizing Grapes

Cornell Extension recommends the following fertilization regime with a 10-10-10 fertilizer for grapes in New York State. (Click here for the full document.)

  • First year – no fertilizer
  • Second year – 2 ounces ƒ
  • Third year – 4 ounces ƒ
  • Fourth year – 8 ounces ƒ
  • Fifth year & after – 16 ounces

Soil for Grapes

The more crucial factor regarding grape fruiting and success is soil type and drainage. First, most grapes prefer a slightly acid to neutral pH between 5.6 and 7, but some grape varieties also grow well at a slightly higher pH of 7.5. If soil pH is too acid or too alkaline, vines will experience various nutrient deficiencies, which will harm the growth and grape output. If your grapes have leaves that look stressed and unhealthy, I recommend you get a soil test for pH through Cornell Cooperative Extension (click here for more information).

Grapes also grow best in well-drained loam. Amending the soil at planting time with Black Gold® Garden Compost Blend and Canadian Sphagnum peat moss is recommended. Sand is another common amendment that will encourage drainage. Just make sure that your vines are planted where the soil drains quickly.

I hope that this information helps.

Happy grape growing!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.