Greg Schultz
April 27, 2013 | Greg Schultz

Vineyard soil sampling--it's all about the dirt!

Soil sampling matches a bit of science with a shovel (see Fig.1). 

Fig. 1

I dug ten holes 12-18 inches deep at various spots from around the field, pulled out about a cup of soil from each, and mixed them in a bucket.  Our soil is reddish in color and has a gritty feel to it.  I encountered just a few small rocks while I dug the samples.  Debbie packaged up the soil and sent it off to A&L Western Labs in Portland.

A week or so later, A&L sent us the results which we quickly forwarded to Dr. Greg Jones for review.  The soil is as he had thought—Debenger-Brader Loam (soil composed of sand, silt, and clay)—with good pH, low organic matter, and some minor imbalances that can be easily corrected with proper amendments before we plant. 

The lab recommended we add a little lime to raise the pH slightly and some nitrogen, potash, and sulfur to optimize the nutrient levels for wine grapes (see Fig. 2). 

Fig. 2

One day closer to a vineyard…


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