Spring dressing is the key to a high grape harvest

Fertilizing grapes is an important stage in its cultivation. Thanks to proper nutrition, the vine develops, the fruits are poured and gain sugar content, the plant is able to withstand winter cold and resist diseases and pests. As a rule, grapes are fed in spring and summer. To get a generous harvest, it is useful to know what role spring feeding plays when a plant awakens after winter dormancy.

The need for spring dressing grapes

Grape bushes receive organic and mineral elements for their growth and development mainly due to root (soil) nutrition. Using the roots, all vegetative organs of the grapes are provided with nutrients. At the same time, a stock of nutrients in the tissues of the plant is also created. Types of soil fertilizer vary in purpose and season of application:

  • Pre-planting fertilizer is used in the preparation of soil for planting seedlings. At the same time, soil quality indicators (its acidity, friability, moisture) are brought to optimal. Of particular importance are potassium and phosphorus.
  • The main fertilizer is applied to the planting pit once in the spring or in the fall, depending on the time of planting. In the spring, nitrogen compounds should prevail, which gives an impetus to the awakening of the plant from winter dormancy and helps the grapes develop the root system, increase the green mass of the leaves, and lay fruit buds. In autumn, potassium and phosphorus must be present in the fertilizer, which allows the vine to mature well and prepare for a successful wintering.
  • If the planting pit was completely filled with organic and mineral fertilizers, then in the next 2-3 years (before the grapes enter fruiting), the young seedlings are not fertilized, but fertilizers are used: in spring - during the period of active growth and vegetation, and in summer - when set and ripened fruits. The introduction of fertilizing allows you to restore in the soil those nutrients that the bushes take from it as a result of life.

4.5–5.5 kg of nitrogen, 1.2–1.6 kg of phosphorus and 12–15 kg of potassium are removed from the soil per ton of fruit and berry per season.

Yu.V. Trunov, professor, doctor S.-kh. of sciences

"Fruit growing." LLC Publishing House KolosS, Moscow, 2012

Top dressing helps the grapes maintain the health of the vines and give a good harvest.

The main types of top dressing in the spring are root (fertilizing the soil) and foliar (spraying grape bushes with solutions of mineral salts or wood ash).

Root top dressing with organic fertilizers

It is known that during the spring-summer period, the need for grapes in the quantity and composition of nutrients changes. Therefore, one should not create too much stock of these substances in the soil. Due to the high concentration of chemical elements, a root burn can occur. In addition, the abundant saturation of the soil with fertilizers leads to their overuse.

Experienced growers are advised to make early spring feeding mainly in liquid form. The soil at this time is still not sufficiently warmed up and moistened, so dry fertilizers dissolve slowly, and the liquid quickly penetrates even into the deep layers of the soil and nourishes the roots. The best option for the first spring feeding is the use of fertilizers with nitrogen in various forms: in the form of organic matter (manure, chicken droppings, compost with the addition of humus) or in the form of complex mineral mixtures (ammonium nitrate, azofosk, ammofosk).

Both slurry and solution of bird droppings contain a whole complex of various nutrients. In addition to nitrogen, the composition of these fertilizers in a natural form and in a balanced ratio includes potassium, magnesium, calcium, as well as various trace elements. This allows the grapes to fully absorb nutrition and quickly enter the process of vegetation.

In total, three top dressings of grape bushes under the root are made in the spring:

  • 2 weeks before flowering (when the buds open and the first leaves appear);
  • after flowering, during the period of fruit peeling;
  • during the ripening of berries, when their size increases 3-4 times, and they become soft.

Video: feeding grapes before flowering

Important: any feeding of grapes is carried out only at a positive air temperature (as a rule, not lower than 15ºС).

As the first top dressing, slurry or a solution of bird droppings is usually used.

To prepare slurry, take 3 buckets of water and 1 bucket of fresh cow or horse manure, mix in a suitable container and leave for fermentation in a warm place. Depending on the air temperature, the ripening process lasts 1-2 weeks. Fermented infusion of mullein is filtered and diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 5 (for 10 l of water - 2 l of infusion).

You can enrich the composition with trace elements - it is recommended to add 200 g of wood ash (dry or in the form of an aqueous extract) to the mullein solution before use.

To feed one adult bush of grapes, 2 buckets of the finished infusion are used (for a young three-year-old plant, one bucket is enough). As a rule, top dressing is combined with watering grapes with the same amount of water. Fertilizer is poured into grooves around the perimeter of the bush or in holes 10-15 cm deep at a distance of 20-30 cm from the grape shoot.

It is very convenient to make liquid top dressing in watering (drainage) pipes.

Video: making a pipe for watering grape bushes

A kind of natural organic top dressing is water infusion of bird droppings (chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, quails). As in cow dung, this type of organics contains the whole spectrum of substances necessary for the growth and development of grapes. However, it is worth considering that chicken litter gives the most concentrated and caustic infusion. Unlike waterfowl droppings, it contains:

  • 2 times more compounds of nitrogen and phosphorus;
  • 3 times more magnesium, calcium and sulfur;
  • 35% less moisture.

The use of bird droppings as organic top dressing allows you to get loose, well-moistened and aerated soil. Due to this, there is an enhanced development of both the root system and the aerial parts of the grape bush, the plant quickly enters the period of vegetation and preparation for flowering.

The preparation of poultry manure infusion does not fundamentally differ from the preparation of mullein:

  1. 4 parts of water are taken for 1 part of chicken droppings (for example, 4 buckets of water for a bucket of raw materials).
  2. Everything is thoroughly mixed and kept in a closed container for 7-10 days.
  3. The solution is periodically (2-3 times a day) mixed for uniform fermentation.
  4. A sign of the readiness of the infusion is to stop the formation of gas bubbles on the surface and the disappearance of an unpleasant odor.

    Fermented and ready-to-use chicken infusion is light brown in color and has a light foam on the surface.

The solution is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10 (1 liter of infusion per 10 liters of water). In order not to cause root burns due to the high concentration of active substances in the infusion, top dressing is combined with watering. For young seedlings, 1 bucket of ready-made solution is taken, for adults who have entered the fruiting of bushes, from 2 to 4 buckets. The liquid is poured into irrigation pipes or into grooves around the bushes, which after irrigation are covered with earth and mulched with peat, compost, dry grass.

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Video: feeding grapes with bird droppings

The second spring top dressing is carried out a week after the grapes bloom, when the berries have the size of small peas (period of peeling). At this time, the vine needs enhanced nutrition for the development and filling of the fruit. This top dressing is similar in composition and amount of nutrients to the first, with the difference that the nitrogen component should be half as much (10 liters of water are taken 1 liter of mullein or 0.5 liter of chicken infusion).

Video: feeding grapes after flowering

The third top dressing of grapes is recommended during the period of intensive growth and ripening of fruits. It helps to increase the sugar content and size of berries, accelerate their ripening, especially for high-yielding table varieties. The basis for feeding is wood ash.

The best quality ash is obtained from burning fruit tree branches and grape shoots left after pruning.

To prepare a concentrated (uterine) infusion, 1–1.5 kg (2-3 liter cans) of wood ash is infused in 10 liters of warm water during the day, periodically stirring. The solution is prepared by adding 1 l of the obtained uterine infusion in a bucket (10 l) of water. Under one bush, 3 to 6 buckets of fluid are required. At this, watering and top dressing of grapes ceases before the harvest.

Video: feeding grapes with infusion of wood ash

Root dressing with mineral fertilizers

Organic-based top dressing is completely natural and therefore considered environmentally friendly and the most beneficial for grapes. However, not all owners of summer cottages can purchase manure or bird droppings. And the amount of basic macro- and micronutrients in such top dressing is not enough for proper nutrition of the bushes. To supplement and enrich organic chemistry, for spring top dressing of grapes it is combined with mineral fertilizers. The composition of the mixtures includes nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, often magnesium, boron, manganese, sulfur and other chemicals are added to them. This allows you to eliminate various problems in plant nutrition.

Table: mineral fertilizers for root top dressing

Application Period


Root top dressing (per 1 m²)Note
Early spring (before the opening of the bushes)10 g of ammonium nitrate

+ 20 g superphosphate

+ 5 g of potassium sulfate

on 10 l of water.

Instead of mineral

fertilizer can be used

any complex fertilizer

(nitrofoska, azofoska, ammofoska)

according to instructions.

Before flowering (before flowering - 7-10 days)75–90 g of urea (urea)

+ 40-60 g superphosphate

+ 40-60 g of Kalimagnesia

(or potassium salt)

on 10 l of water.

1. Fill superphosphate into the soil

for easy digging.

2. Before feeding water the bush

one bucket (10 l) of water.

After flowering (2 weeks before

ovary formation)

20–25 g of ammonium nitrate

+ 40 g superphosphate

+ 30 g of Kalimagnesia

(or potassium salt)

on 10 l of water.

Instead of ammonium nitrate, you can

use urea (urea),

kalimagnesia can be replaced

wood ash (1 liter can

for 10 liters of water).

Fertilizing with mineral fertilizers should be combined with watering grapes, 3-4 shovels of clean warm water are required for one bush. Fertilizers containing nitrogen and potassium usually dissolve well in water, so they are mainly used for liquid top dressing. Due to the presence of gypsum in its composition, superphosphate belongs to sparingly soluble mixtures. It is recommended to make it in the soil in a dry form, in grooves or pits at a distance of 40-50 cm from the bush, slightly mixing with the ground. After this, the bush should be watered with 1-2 buckets of water.

Video: fertilizing grapes with mineral fertilizers

When feeding grapes, it is necessary to follow the instructions for the use of fertilizers. This is especially true for 3-4 year old seedlings. It is unacceptable to overfeed them with nitrogen, as the vine does not ripen as a result, and plants can suffer during wintering. Phosphorus and potassium fertilizers for young bushes are applied at half rate with watering.

The main principle of the winegrower: it is better to underfeed than overfeed.

Photo gallery: the main types of mineral fertilizers for feeding grapes

The content of the main components in equal proportions and the water-soluble form allows the use of nitroammophoska throughout the growing season

Superphosphate is one of the main types of root dressing, its use accelerates the fruiting period and improves the taste of berries

The presence of sulfur in the composition of ammonium nitrate contributes to the rapid and complete assimilation of nitrogen by grapes.

Urea is the safest water-soluble nitrogen fertilizer used for root dressing and leaf spraying.

My neighbor and my dacha neighbor have a couple of grape bushes of the same variety - Arcadia. The neighbor’s favorite fertilizer is ammonium nitrate, and I prefer to feed the bushes with urea (urea). Once we made a comparative analysis: what type of top dressing for grapes is more favorable and effective. I believe that urea is an environmentally friendly fertilizer, because it is made on the basis of organics, it penetrates easier into the roots and leaves. And the nitrogen content in it is higher (46%), which means that it takes less to feed one bush. In addition, urea does not affect the acidity of the soil. You can use top dressing based on it, without risking changing the acid index of the soil (pH). The only minus of urea is that it is not suitable for feeding in autumn and early spring, because "Works" only at a positive air temperature. But in the midst of spring and summer, I willingly use this top dressing both under the root and for spraying. The neighbor convinces me that ammonium nitrate is more effective, because nitrogen is contained in it in both ammonia and nitrate forms. Due to its nitrate form, nitrogen is instantly absorbed by the bush, but it is easily washed out of the soil and does not accumulate in berries. The ammonia form of nitrogen, on the contrary, is absorbed slowly by the roots, but is not washed out by water and remains in the soil for a long time. Therefore, it is not necessary to feed grapes very often. Also, the neighbor considers the possibility of its use at any time of the year, at any temperature, to be a big plus of his favorite fertilizer. This allows him to fertilize his grapes even in early March, through snow that has not yet come down. But when in the end we compared the productivity indicators of our bushes, it turned out that there was practically no difference. It turns out that we are both right in our preferences, and each type of fertilizer is good and effective in its own way.

Foliar top dressing

In addition to root top dressing, in spring and early summer, spraying grapes on the leaf is very useful - foliar top dressing. The most effective treatment with nitrogen fertilizers and solutions of salts of trace elements (boron, zinc, molybdenum, sulfur).

A good result is given by spraying grape bushes before flowering with a solution of boric acid, and after flowering with zinc sulfate.

These treatments strengthen the vitality of grapes, increase the resistance of the culture to disease. They are carried out before flowering, as well as during fruit set and their active growth. The concentration of nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, urea, azofoska) should not exceed 0.3-0.4%, potash (potassium sulfate) - 0.6%. It is very convenient and rational to use ready-made mixtures for spraying:

  • Ovary,
  • Plantafol
  • Aquamarine,
  • Kemer
  • Novofert.

The solution for processing grapes is prepared in strict accordance with the instructions. Spraying should be done in calm weather, preferably in the evening (after 18 hours) or early in the morning (up to 9 hours).

Nutrients can enter plants not only through the roots, but also through the stems and leaves. Foliar top dressing supplement root nutrition. Such fertilizers act for a short time, but with their help it is possible to eliminate the acute deficiency of any element in the plant in a short time, since this ensures the timely supply of elements through the phenological phases of development directly to the points of their main consumption (leaves, growth points, fruits).

Yu.V. Trunov, professor, doctor S.-kh. of sciences

"Fruit growing." LLC Publishing House KolosS, Moscow, 2012

Video: foliar grape top dressing

Features of spring feeding of grapes in the Krasnodar Territory and Moscow Region

Krasnodar Territory is a favorable natural region for the development of viticulture. A sufficiently high annual amount of active temperatures, their distribution by months, a large number of frost-free days per year meet the requirements for heat and light of the vine. The soils are rich in humus (4.2–5.4%) and are largely provided with phosphorus and potassium. Therefore, there are no special requirements for spring top dressing of grapes in this region. All types of top dressing based on organic and mineral fertilizers are recommended for use.

The calendar for grape care in the Moscow Region begins in early spring. At this time, the introduction of complex mineral fertilizers is mandatory. Grapes are very sensitive to a lack of magnesium in the soil, with its small quantities, the vine may not produce a crop at all. In addition, the bushes are very quickly affected by various pests and diseases. To prevent this, 250 g of magnesium sulfate is dissolved in a bucket of warm water and the vine is sprayed. After 2 weeks, the processing of the grapes must be repeated. Grape care in the spring in the suburbs involves weekly dressing with liquid mineral fertilizers, until the ripening of the berries. Food should be combined with regular watering.

All types of organic and mineral fertilizers and top dressings are used for nutrition and development of grapes. The choice in each case is made by the gardener.


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