Grape Planting

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How To Proceed With Grape Planting

Grape planting can be much more complicated then many people understand.
Owning a vineyard can be very appealing but there is a lot of work involved that
is not apparent from visiting a vineyard. There is a lot of preparation work involved
before the grapes go into the ground.

If your vineyard site ahs poor soil then you may need to prepare it a year in advance
so that the nutrient levels are good. This is akin to when agricultural fields lie
fallow for a year to recover when the plants have stripped the soil of all nutrients.

Drainage should be installed before any grape planting takes place.
Drain age tiles are needed in soil that does not drain well. If you have swampy bits
in the ground after rain then you will need a lot of drainage. You can speak with a
soil scientist or specialist and they can educate you about your soil. The bare bones
of a trellis system will also be in place, mainly the weight bearing stakes at the last on the row.
Installing these with drainage can work quite well as you will need deep holes and
even cement to anchor the posts.

You will also need to plan out how far apart you want your grape rows and the distance
between each plants. This will depend on the weather and temperatures you receive during
the growing season. The situation and aspect of your vines will also dictate the distance.
If you are on a slope you may need to counteract for more shade between vines. Most trellis
systems tend to be set up north to south to maximize the amount of sun they
receive during the day. The sun is necessary for flavor production in grapes. The more
shade you have then the more green flavors associated with the grape.

Sun is important, as it is the heat and sunlight
that cause the flavors to develop in the grape. Having good air flow will make sure the
grapes stay dry and reduce any chance of rot or mildew. The spacing and trellising
may vary depending on the site, as microclimates will vary.

It will be three years before you will have a product to sell and you will need to that that into your
budget for grape planting and vineyard maintenance. Much of the first two years will focus
on growth and getting the root system stable. There are many courses and teachers that can answer any of your questions.

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Author: Jodi Hess
Stan Spencer is a grape growing expert. For more great tips on�>grape planting and winemaking visit�>

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