Growing grape vines is rewarding and delicious work. Whether you’re plotting to make a mini vineyard, a personal fruit supply, or even a beautiful grapevine that climbs the trellis on your front porch or the side of the house, you’re going to need a good fertilizer if you really want excellent results.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the best fertilizer for grapes, showing you a collection of them along with useful ingredients and review data. After that, we’ll give you some newbie growing tips, information on buying fertilizer locally, and we’ll also share which fertilizer we liked the best!
Getting those grapevines going can be a bit of a chore at first, but with the right fertilizer the difference is really night and day. With that said, let’s get started on exploring the best fertilizer for grapes so that you’ll be good and ready to plan and support your new vines!
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top 3 picks:
|J.R. Peters Jack’s Classic All-Purpose 20-20-20 Fertilizer||Most effective|
|Vine Vitality Nutrient Rich Fish & Kelp Liquid Fertilizer Concentrate||Easiest to use|
|Dr. Earth Premium Gold All-Purpose Fertilizer||Best value|
Table of Contents
Fertilizing grapes and more– Knowing what they need to grow
If you’ve never grown grapes before, there are a few things that you’ll need to know to ensure that your vine doesn’t meet a premature and depressing end. Starting off, the old classic phrase ‘location, location, location’ definitely applies in gardening and this is a good place for us to start.
Grape vines are going to need a lot of sunlight, so you want to start them off in a south-facing location where these woody perennials can get their fill of solar rays. This will ensure that the flowers and fruit develop, though if you live in an area where an early spring frost is a danger, then a north-facing location will be better.
Each vine is going to need a little space from the others, with 6 feet being ideal for the space between your vines. The soil for your grapes will be one of the easiest parts – they’ll do well in many types, although clay or sand loams are going to be the absolute best. Whatever you go with, it needs to be well-drained and DEEP – Grape vines have a root system that extends about 36 inches down, so keep this in mind as you strategize your location.
The final thing to think about for the soil is the pH level. Grapes need a range of 5.5 to 8, with an ideal pH being about 6.5. This is where your fertilizer and other soil treatments will come in especially – with the right kind of plant foods and fertilizer, you can get the pH as perfect as possible, and after that it’s going to be a matter of watering it properly and letting Nature take its course.
While this is a bit simplified, it covers the basics enough that we can go ahead and get started with those fertilizers. If you’re ready, then let’s proceed and you can see what you think of them!
The Best fertilizer for grapes
In the sections below we’ve collected a sampling of some of the best fertilizers for grapes that you can order online. For each entry, we’ll share with you some important information so that you know what each fertilizer brings to the table as far as ingredients and other factors that make up their proprietary blends.
After the description, we’ll give you an overview of how they did in the reviews, including samples from the 5 star feedback and the 1 star feedback, as well. This way, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how confident you feel with each brand or if a little more digging into the reviews might be a better idea before you decide to commit.
Without further ado, here are those fertilizers!
Our first entry is this Dr. Earth Premium Gold All-Purpose fertilizer and it’s off to a strong start as the first (and possibly still the only) non-GMO product verified fertilizer on the market. With no GMO contaminated manure or synthetic ingredients, Dr. Earth instead works its magic with a 4-4-4 mix of nitrogen, Phosphate, and soluble potash, and then brings on the natural ingredients to finish the job.
These ingredients include bone, fishbone, and feather meal, as well as kelp and alfalfa mal, alfalfa flour, and potassium sulfate. Add in the mycorrhizae content and you have a solid fertilizer to really kick your grapevines into gear.
Checking out the reviews, Dr. Earth scored very highly, with 81% of the 865 polled giving this product 5 stars, while another 13% awarded it 4. ‘Steve’ upgraded his with a little coffee grounds and banana peels and said it boosted his tomato growth in their barrels without burning it and ‘mrsartteacher’ says that she ‘couldn’t be happier’, advising that it has changed her soil in many positive ways.
Checking the 1 star reviews, however, 2% of customers were painting a different picture, with ‘Tonopah Sally’ advising us that the smell was horrible and ‘Justin LeBlanc’ makes the alarming claim that every time he uses this product it kills all of his plants. We’ll take that with a grain of salt on our end with the preponderance of good feedback, but be advised to follow the instructions with this fertilizer carefully and to visit the reviews before you commit!
Next up we have a powerful granular fertilizer from Old Truck Organics called simply ‘Fruit, Citrus, and Vine’. Credit where credit is due, we like when a fertilizer plainly states what it’s for from the get-go, and from the ingredients it looks like they know what they’re doing. These granules contain a 4-2-3 mix of time-release nitrogen, phosphates, and soluble potash, as well as MYKOS mycorrhizae.
It also uses a proprietary blend of hydrolyzed feather meal, as well as blood, bone, meat, and fish meal, and tops it off with langbeinite for an all-natural medley of wholesome ingredients to promote healthy and speedy growth.
Checking to see if the reviews back up the hype, we’re happy to report that out of 121 polled, 75% of customers gave this product 5 stars and an additional 17% gave it 4. User ‘Jul’ tried it with her lemons and says that she’s seeing ‘big, beautiful lemons the size and color I’ve never seen’ and ‘Sandra A.’ keeps her feedback nice and direct with ‘Grapes are doing quite well’ and adding that she’ll use it again.
Flipping the coin, however, we find that the lowest reviews were actually 2 star, rather than 1, and these made up 5% of the reviews. Unfortunately, the negative reviewers left no actual feedback, simply using the old ‘score and go’ method, so do with that information what you will. All in all, folks seemed very happy with this fertilizer and we think you’re going to like it.
This fertilizer with the nice-looking bag is Down to Earth All-Natural Acid mix and it helps to make a nice, alkaline soil that your grapes will love. Since they do their best between 5.5 and 8 pH levels, Down to Earth is a good choice for adjusting the soil you’re working with and also brings some good ingredients to the table.
Starting off, it has 4% nitrogen, 3% phosphate, and 6% soluble potash, along with 2% humic acids to give it a little bite, followed by blend of natural ingredients such as cottonseed, fish bone, and kelp meal, rock phosphate, and langbeinite.
Moseying on down to the Review corral, we have a healthy pool of 2641 reviews, 75% of which gave this product 5 stars. Another 16% gave this product 4 and praise included ‘within days I noticed a huge difference in the health of my blueberry plants’ from ‘Ricky Connerty’ and user ‘CM’ said it helped his crop to ‘produce flowers in days’.
Moving on to find a little ‘dirt’, only 2% of reviewers disliked this product enough to give it 1 star, with Bonny saying it’s ‘not so great’ and that while it stopped the leaves from browning on her berries she noticed no other noticeable improvement. ‘Lady Kylean’ was more critical, saying she felt it wasn’t worth the price and calling it a ‘tiny little box’ of admittedly-acidic dirt.
These accounts were definitely in the minority, but be sure to review them on your own before you finalize your judgment on this product – overall, it got a lot of cheers from happy growers!
Another product with a no-nonsense name, Vine Vitality is a great choice for promoting healthy and speedy growth of your grapevines. It’s a concentrate, so about 1 liter of this product can give you 32 gallons of liquid fertilizer and needless to say, a little goes a long way. The ingredients that they use start off with 2% nitrogen, 5% phosphate, and 0.2% soluble potash.
With hydrolyzed fish and kelp carrying the rest of the weight, what you’ve got is an excellent foliar spray option that can nourish your grapevines so that they will grow healthy, strong, and fruitful. So, how did it do in the reviews?
Well, Vine Vitality was rated and reviewed by a modest pool of 116, with 75% of reviewers giving it 5 stars and another 15% awarding it 4. Include in the comments in favor of this foliar spray option we found testimony from ‘Tina Barden’ stating ‘this is liquid gold for my veggies garden’ and ‘Sam’ tells us ‘Everyone thrives with it… fruits trees, berry bushes, veggies’ and adds that the smell is not too bad – just don’t stick your nose in it!
Looking at the dark side of the reviews, only 1% of customers didn’t like this product, but no one posted any quotable review data for us to share. Checking the 2 and 3 star reviews, we found that 0% gave it 2 and 9% gave a 3 star without comment and sharing this is, unfortunately, the best we can do with this foliar spray.
A gardening fan favorite, Espoma’s Berry-tone is another fine option for fruits that will definitely treat your grapes right! This proprietary blend starts with 4% nitrogen, 3% phosphate, and 4% soluble potash and also adds in 5% calcium and sulfur, along with 1% magnesium.
Other natural ingredients include feather, bone, and alfalfa meal, as well as poultry manure, and it also adds 1% humic acids from Leonardite and a number of beneficial bacillus to ensure proper, healthy growth.
Checking out the reviews, in a pool of 253 the Espoma scored a very respectable 81% of 5 star ratings, while an additional 12% awarded this product with 4. Praise for this fertilizer included ‘it’s gentle and doesn’t burn plants’ from user ‘Memly’ and ‘Alicia Proctor chimed in to tell us it’s ‘a GREAT fertilizer for Berry Plants of all kinds’.
As far as negative reviews, 3% of customers who purchased the Espoma were less than enchanted, but only 2 reviews were left, with one advising they only received one bag and the other stating they got a bad with seeds and newspaper! While we don’t have a way to get more information on the last complaint, the product was quite well-received so be sure to check the reviews for the product and vendor to make sure that you feel comfortable before you commit.
True Organic makes our list with their fantastic Berry and Plant food formula that starts with 5% nitrogen, 4% phosphate, and 4% soluble potash. It also has 1% sulfur and an appreciable 6% of calcium, along with natural ingredients including fish bone, shrimp, crab, and soybean meal, seabird guano, poultry manure, and beneficial microbes.
You’ll only need to use it once a month and it is designed not just to fertilize, but also to help replenish your soil while it strengthens your grapevines and any other berry crops that you intend to raise.
Wandering over to the reviews, True Organic did well with 68% of the 169 polled giving it 5 star reviews, while an additional 21% admitted that it was worth at least 4. Praise for this product included ‘Mary K. Gregory’ telling us ‘my Boysenberries are HUGE’ and ‘Mary’ says it’s ‘great for all my berry plants!’.
Peeking at the negative reviews, however, we find that 3% of customers polled were not as happy with True Organic, with ‘ElohimGod’ telling us that the ‘smell is overwhelming’ and that they could smell it before opening the box, while ‘Michael Molina’ said that they didn’t like the price and that it did nothing for their strawberries, all 10 of which died!
As always, we share the sour with the sweet, just remember to take all feedback with a grain of salt – we include this sort of thing to bring it to your attention so that you’ll know to read a few more reviews before you make a final decision – those 2 bad reviews aside, True Organic did pretty well, and if you don’t mind a little odor in a fertilizer then you might be very pleased with the results!
If you’re not familiar with the J.R.Peters brand, then you don’t know Jack… Jack’s Classic All-purpose fertilizer, that is! This highly concentrated, water-soluble plant food gives your soil a whopping 20% nitrogen, 20% phosphate, and 20% soluble potash boost. This is perfect for depleted or poor quality soils, as it can increase the nutrients without affecting the acidity – just don’t use it with any other natural nitrogen sources, such as manure.
Later as your vines grow, it may also be used as a foliar spray, and since a little goes a long way you won’t need to replenish your supply of Jack’s anytime soon. With that in mind, how did it fare in the reviews?
Well, it looks like Jack is a fine fertilizer once you get to know him, as a pool of 4979 showed that 81% of folks who tried this gave the product 5 stars. Another 13% awarded it 4, so let’s see what they had to say. User ‘Eyevoree’ provides our favorite review of the day, stating ‘This stuff seems like it should be illegal. I’ve never seen my plants grow so fast’ and ‘Dave’ tells us that he’s been using Peter’s for over 10 years!
Surely someone has something bad to say, so going to the dark side of Reviewland we see than 1% of folks felt that ‘Jack’ had overstayed his welcome, with comments such as ‘fertilizer had a lot of clumps’ from ‘vickie combs’ and one anonymous ‘Amazon Customer’ entry stated that it killed ‘like 10 of my plants’. With so many resounding reviews out of over 5000 polled, we still think that Jack’s All-Purpose is a pretty amazing fertilizer, just be sure to follow the instructions to a ‘t’ because this is powerful stuff!
Our final entry comes from Jobe’s Organics and it’s a granular Fruit and Citrus plant food. Which includes a proprietary biozome designed to break up materials actively in the soil to ensure that your plants are getting their nutrients. This fertilized is a 3-5-5 variety, so you’re getting 3% nitrogen, 5% phosphates, and 5% soluble potash from the get-go, and it also include mycorrhizal fungi, bone and feather meal, and processed manure for the finishing organic touch.
Taking a look at the reviews, out of 7373 reviewers polled, 72% gave Jobe’s a 5 star review and an additional 17% were willing to part with 4 stars for it. User ‘periwinkle’ both praises the product and answers the unasked question we’re all thinking about by telling us that despite the admittedly sour smell, ‘my outdoor shrubs and trees perk right up’ and that blooms are more vigorous and colorful, as well. ‘Holly J. Stewart’ says that she loves this stuff but also warns that her dog loves it too, advising that it rescued her heat-stressed tomatoes and that her zucchinis and cucumbers doubled in size!
Of course now we have to check the 1 star reviews to see if there’s any dirt and out of those 7000+ reviews, 3% of customers were not as charmed by Jobe’s wares. User ‘Hakuhotwheel’ was upset that it contained bone meal and ’Sarah’ said that she saw ‘no difference’ using this product with her palm trees.
So, while there was not a lot of ‘shade’ thrown around, there was certainly a little so be sure to check the reviews before you make up your mind about Jobes – it’s got the numbers, so we think you’re going to love it!
Best newbie tips for growing your grapevines
If this is your first-time growing grapes, then don’t panic! In this section we’ve compiled a few helpful tips for getting started and to assist in avoiding a few common pitfalls along the way. Here are some things to keep in mind:
You should definitely do a soil test before you plant your grapes – Grape Vines are very particular and you’ll want to know as much about the soil as possible, especially the pH range.
Raising your soil pH is easily done by adding a little dolomitic limestone and you can lower it by adding a little sulfur – be sure to carefully follow the instructions, however, so that you don’t ‘over; or ‘under’ do it!
One of the tricky things about Grapes is that fertilizer requirements can vary quite a bit, and new vines may not need any fertilizer at all for the first 2 – 3 years. As such, if you’re positive that your vines could use a little, start off with something balanced like a basic 10-10-10 about 2 – 3 weeks after planting and apply about a foot away from the base of the vine. This will help it out without ‘rocking the boat’ as far as nitrogen, phosphate, and soluble potash levels until you can see how it’s doing naturally.
Be careful with nitrogen – too much can make the plant vegetative to the point that they don’t flower – start slowly and be patient with the process.
Buying information for fertilizer for your grapes
Buying fertilizer online can be a pain sometimes. There’s shipping costs, of course, but there’s also the matter of clumping, confirming expiration dates, or even the simple factor of its smell. If you prefer to buy your fertilizer locally, then here are a few tips that can help you to pick the best options:
Skip buying fertilizer spikes – while they’re nice for most plants, grapevines have very deep roots and won’t get the full effect of them.
A basic 10-10-10 fertilizer is easy to find and a great fertilizer for new vines. They’ll get a nutrient boost without worry of going too far overboard.
Well-rotted manure or straw-mixed compost are actually much better for your grapes to encourage growth and you can purchase bags at your local nursery. Vineyards do this a lot and studies have indicated that when done consistently, these vines yield about 30% more fruit than those raised on commercial fertilizers
As far as our favorite fertilizer for today, we’d have to go with Dr Earth’s Premium Gold All-Purpose fertilizer. We liked this one for its balanced profile – as a 4-4-4 fertilizer, it covers the basics without pushing too hard on the nitrogen, phosphate, or potash levels. Typically, a soil test is really going to tell you what fertilizer will be the best fit but with a balanced one like Dr. Earth, you can still use the fertilizer and simply supplement it with the additions that your particular soil and plants will require.
Even without doing that, this fertilizer will also certainly help, so between those facts and the stellar reviews that this product got from the folks who gave it a try, it’s officially going to be our favorite best fertilizer for grapes today!
If you liked one of the others, then by all means be sure to check them out – without having your information, you’re the only one who is going to know your specific soil requirements. We only recommend that you use any products in small amounts first until you can see how they are working.
Sometimes a little can go a very long way and with fertilizers, that’s also the safest option!
That’s just about all of the time that we have for today, but before we conclude this properly, we’ve got a few frequently asked questions and their answers that we thought we’d share on our way out. We hope that you find them useful and with that, here are those FAQs for your perusal!
What nutrients do grapes need?
There are a lot of variables, really, but if we had to lay out a basic nutrient list it would look something like this:
Each plays a role in various aspects of your grapes, but this gives you an idea of the nutrients involved.
What is the best natural fertilizer for grapevines?
A lot of natural fertilizers will work with your grapes, although some of the best examples include compost made with straw and manure, well-rotted manure on its own, crab meal, fish emulsion, and cottonseed meal.
What is the best foliar for grapes?
While you have a lot of foliar options, zinc is one of the best, as grapes are quite commonly found to be deficient of this important mineral. As it assists with things like protein synthesis, cell division, and the production of auxin for expanding the shoots, Zinc is definitely one mineral that you want to make sure there’s enough of.
Do I need fertilizer to increase the sweetness of my grapes?
Not necessarily. The size and flavor quality of your grapes may often be upgraded by simply ‘trimming things down’. By reducing the number of total bunches per stem, you can make an appreciable difference, and even removing a few grapes from an individual bunch will give the remaining ones a boost!
Try it out sometime and you’ll see – when your plant is focusing on fewer bunches, you’ll get a lot more quality from that extra attention!
Do grape vines like Epsom salts?
Yes, grape vines can benefit from Epsom salts as they contain magnesium, which aids in chlorophyll production and overall plant health. However, it should only be used if a soil test indicates a magnesium deficiency.
Are coffee grounds good for grape vines?
Yes, coffee grounds can be beneficial for grape vines as they add organic material to the soil, improving drainage, water retention, and aeration. However, they should be used in moderation due to their high nitrogen content and potential for acidifying soil.
In today’s article we’ve taken a closer look at the best fertilizers for grapes and our favorite today was Dr Earth’s Premium Gold All-Purpose fertilizer for its balanced formula and resoundingly good feedback from Dr. Earth’s fans. That said, with grapes there are a lot of variables that will determine how well they will grow in your location,
This means that you are going to want to have your soil tested first if you really want the best chance at success. You don’t need to do this if you’ve already grown grapes there, but otherwise it’s the best way to find out what kind of soil nutrients and pH levels you are dealing with before you get started. Once you have a better idea of this, then it will be much easier to select exactly the kind of fertilizer that you need.
Finally, if you are just getting started, your grape vines may not even need fertilizer for the first 2 –3 years, so consider just giving your vines an ‘unassisted test run’ or go with a mild, balanced fertilizer like the Dr. Earth of a 10-10-10 fertilizer that you’ve purchased online or locally.
It takes time, patience, and a lot of love, but once those first grapes arrive, you’re going to be very happy that you stuck with it! Until next time, we wish you good luck with your new grapevines!
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