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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vineyard nutrient needs vary with rootstocks and soils


Sustainable vineyard fertilization can lead to cost savings while protecting the environment. However, appropriate fertilization conditions depend on the rootstocks, which differ in their uptake of macro- and micronutrients, as well as on the vineyard soils’ physical and chemical characteristics, which affect the soil nutrient reservoir. We studied identical sets of 14 rootstocks on three different soils. Rootstocks had a significant impact on petiole levels of nitrogen and potassium throughout the growing season. Pruning weight and fruit yield also varied considerably by rootstock and site. However, rootstock performance was not consistent among sites, nor was the seasonal pattern of change in nitrogen and potassium consistent among sites. The observed differences emphasize the impact of soil texture and nutrient availability on plant growth. Further studies will help guide the development of site-specific sustainable fertilization regimens.

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