Maintaining a high harvest quality is extraordinarily essential for producing grapes (esp. table grapes). Acute deficiencies leading to crop failure due to quality losses can be cured very efficiently short-term via foliar application. As deficiencies can be noticed easily on the leaves, foliar tests can additionally give you information about lacking nutrients.
The most important nutrient for grape quality is probably Potassium. It enhances disease resistance and is a crucial factor regarding fruit size, flavor, texture and berry development. Potassium is an activator of enzymes that are essential for photosynthesis and respiration as well as for starch and protein formation. Foliar applied Potassium promotes sugar transfer into the berries. Symptoms of Potassium deficiency generally develop in mid-shoot leaves followed by older basal leaves. Young leaves show a lightened color and a few necrotic spots can occur along the leaf margin. Older leaves can become violet brown to dark brown. Deficiencies are more common in dry climates.
Another essential nutrient for fruit quality in general is Calcium as it is part of cell membranes and strengthens the grape berry skins. Deficiency symptoms occur in the young parts of the plant where it is used in cell division and can include twisted and deformed tissues at the growing tips. Foliar applied Calcium promotes berry firmness and has a side effect against stem dieback, diseases as well as fruit disorders.
Iron is an important micronutrient as it is an essential component of a number of proteins and enzymes. In addition, it is acting as a proton carrier during photosynthesis and respiration. Deficiencies normally occur during cool and wet weather periods when the Iron movement in the soil is very slow. Symptoms often appear on soils with a high lime (Calcium) content. They express as interveinal chlorosis that can extend to totally white bleaching of the leaves. Fruit set can also be affected. As Iron is very immobile, foliar sprays can help to correct deficiencies short-term.
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