Soil Testing for Grapes

As I am planting 7 wine grapes this coming spring, I ordered as soil test kit from Double A Vineyards. They are the company I purchased the vines from. Nice outfit.

As I was reading through the description of what the testing will return, I was impressed with the breath of information. See below…

Of course I am ordering the test for the grape vines but the side benefit is it tells me what I need to know for my fruit trees as well.

For those who have sent soil for testing for your fruit trees, is the testing as extensive as this?

For $30 I think this is as good value. It is what is used for commercial vineyard clients. I’ll post results here when I get them - probably next month sometime.

“Test includes: Organic Matter, Estimated Nitrogen Release, Available Phosphorus, Exchangeable Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Hydrogen, Soil pH, Buffer Index, Cation Exchange, Capacity and Percent Base Saturation of Cation Elements as well as Sulfur, Sodium, Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Copper and Boron.”

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Hi Phil,
My experience has been that grapes require very little attention to soil fertility requirements. In various countries that grow them you tell to see vineyards on the poorest of soil simply because they get the majority of nutrients from deep in the soil profile, so the main thing they need is excellent drainage. You may be able to find a reference by one of the states where grapes are main crops that has done research such as this one in WI. https://walworth.extension.wisc.edu/files/2018/11/Nutrient-Application-Guidelines-for-Field-Vegetable-Fruit-Crops-in-WI-A2809.pdf
But I am not aware of one for grapes. Without such technical guidance you first need to know how to use the data that your soil lab will provide.
The array of data you listed is impressive but so what, is it going to be in a useful format where the lab tell you if your soil is deficient in a particular nutrient then tells you how many pounds of certain nutrient you need to add to grow a particular fruit tree.
I would probably just buy the simple test at home kits that tell you the ph,and NPK levels which are the most important ones to get right! Then do your shake test to ascertain if your soil texture is supportive of moisture retention and a healthy CEC.
You might check with your County extension agent.Here I can get five tests for free at King County Conservation District.
Just food for thought before you buy something that migh5 not be practical to actually use?
Dennis
Kent, wa

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The test includes consultation from their viticulturalist. I know only the top foot or so of soil is available for easy amendment if there is an issue.

For the price I’d like the info. If something is vastly out of line in the results, I’d like to know.

I know vine grapes do better in a more nutrient poor soil.

My soils are sandy loam to about 15-20 inches then a sandy clay loam.

I’m acquainted with my local state horticulturalist so yes that is a resource I can use as well if I want to use the data for other plants/trees on my lot.

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Looks like the standard tests on what I get with Virginia’s state soil testing lab. How does it compare to Louisiana’s state soil testing report?

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Looked at the LA Ag test site. Looks like it’s more expensive with the state than what I am getting.

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I just looked at LA tests and fees. Kinda lame they charge extra for Mn, Fe, Zn, Cu and B. Also I see they don’t ask for soil series or date when last limed.

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Indeed. So I’ll be content with what the grape vine folks want to look at. A bit overkill but I’d like the info and I am curious as to the result and what the viniculturalist says about it.

I’ll probably slow release Osmocote 14-14-14 at planting to help establish the vines then stop that. No drip irrigation and spot water if I go more than a week or 10 days with no rain.

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