Grapevine Fertilizer or Compost (or Both)

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Hello all! I live in Cyprus in the Mediterranean, zone 10a. I've just planted two grapevines that I will train over a large arbor in my front garden. I was told I need to fertilize these plants regularly, but I want to stay organic. Should I purchase an organic fertilizer, and if so, what type do you recommend? Anyone with any experience with organic fertilizer and grapes?

My concern is that I've read using any fertilizer is not good for your soil, that in general it's better to use compost around your plants. Healthy soil should provide all the necessary nutrients to plants. Fertilizer is not the best for soil composition. What are you thoughts?

I do compost, and should have rich compost available regularly for my plants. But I'm not sure compost is going to be good enough for the grapevines to ensure they grow and produce enough fruit. So any input would be welcome.

Thanks!
 
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When I visited Hampton Court they had an ancient grape which grows in a greenhouse, quite a large area outside the greenhouse was cultivated and left bare, they said for the roots. When I moved here I inherited a mature grape vine, and I find there is an area outside which seems to be solid root and doesn't grow much of anything very well, I have not fertilised, but the grape doesn't seem to mind, it grows like stink and bears a fair bit of fruit. I was surprised at how much pruning the sources recommended, take back to about a third, but it makes it up really quickly and fills the whole of one side of a fourteen foot greenhouse really quickly from what looks like a brown stump pretty much. I am thinking about losing it though, firstly, although the grapes are probably the best British ones I have eaten they are not up to the standard of Mediterranean ones, secondly the greenhouse is ancient and needs a complete rebuild, thirdly I lose all of one side where I would rather have cucumber and tomato growing. Perhaps we should move to sunny Cyprus :)
 
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Are you growing grapes for maximum yield or for a particular a flavour profile. If you are growing table grapes, or grapes for vin ordinaire, you might want to fertilize more heavily to get a larger crop. Conversely growers of fine wine grapes, are much more concerned about subtle effects of terroir and will deliberately reduce their yields to achieve such qualities. Fertilizing in that situation is often reduced, though not necessarily eliminated.

By all means start out with organic fertilizers. and discover if they will meet your needs. Remember that repeatedly removing a crop from a patch of land is literally taking nutrients away, so to some degree you will want to replace this lost fertility. I would consult with commercial grape growers or even the Cyprus department of Agriculture to learn more about local, needs, conditions, and methods.
 

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