Guidelines for fertilizer use in vineyards based on nutrient content of grapevine parts uri icon


  • Plant analysis plays a major role in fertilizer recommendations for perennial tree crops and vines. Plantanalysis, however, does not quantify the rate of nutrients to apply. The approach developed in this worktakes into account the content of the nutrients in grapevine parts and their dynamic within the plantto assist in the estimation of the amount of fertilizer to apply. Groups of three vines were cut at groundlevel on four different dates from September 14th to November 28th. On the first sampling date thevines were separated into trunk, cordons, canes, leaves and clusters for determination of dry mattercontent and elemental composition. On the following dates the vines were separated into the plant partsthat were still present, since the clusters were only present on the first sampling date and the leaveson the first two. To assess the mobility of nutrients within the plant, samples of phloem vessels andsawdust of the entire trunk were taken as well as samples of chlorotic and green leaves. Nitrogen (N),potassium (K), phosphorus (P) and boron (B) showed mobility within the plant whereas calcium (Ca)and magnesium (Mg) did not. The removal of nutrients in clusters is critical for estimating N and Kfertilizer rates. Clusters removed 19.9 kg N ha−1and 28.7 kg K ha−1. In the case of N, it is also importantto assess the system’s ability to recycle the nutrient contained in the leaves and canes which amountedto 49.4 kg N ha−1. Phosphorus, calcium and magnesium applications might not justify being taken intoaccount in the annual fertilization plan. Thus, the establishment of the fertilization programme shouldbe a nutrient-specific exercise which takes into account all sources of information, including target yieldand nutrient content in clusters, the vineyard management strategies influencing nutrient use efficiencyfrom fallen leaves and prunings and soil testing and plant analysis.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014