Technical Report


Soil Testing and Grapes Public Deposited

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  • Soil testing for a perennial crop, especially a crop new to Oregon such as grapes, raises three common questions from growers: is a soil test desired, how many samples are needed and what do the results indicate? Soil samples are needed before planting a vineyard. These samples provide a record of initial soil test levels and an indication as to whether fertilizers or lime may be required prior to vineyard establishment. If needed, lime and some fertilizers should be applied at this time since they can be mixed into the soil without damaging existing roots. The number of soil samples required depends upon the soil variability. The more variable the topography, soil types, and drainage, the more samples will be needed. Generally, separate soil samples are taken for different areas that can be fertilized separately. A hill may require several samples, e.g., crest, slope, and foot slope, depending on the shape of the terrain and its size. A soil survey will provide general ideas about soil variation, but it will not replace an on site evaluation for changes in soil color, texture, and depth. If you have questions about soil sampling contact your local extension agent or request OSU Extension Circular 628. Soil testing can provide approximate threshold values below which fertilizer or lime should be applied. Some guidelines for minimum soil test levels at grape stand establishment are:
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