How to plant grapes in the spring: instructions for beginners
Any art should be mastered from an early age, viticulture is one of them. The first tentative steps after a while will pave the way to a real primacy, and the delicate young branches of the first vine will grow strong eyelashes, cover the arbor and turn it into a piece of paradise. The main thing is to get started.
If you’re just getting started with grapes (and this guide is designed for beginner gardeners), you’ll likely go to a garden center or nursery for seedlings – and that’s the right thing to do. Buy planting material is better from reliable producers – then you will not only get professional advice on planting and care, but also all the chances of successful cultivation of this crop.
If you have your own reliable “supplier” of cuttings (for example, neighbors-gardeners) and you have nothing against experimentation, try it yourself.
Preparing and germinating cuttings
Cuttings of grapes (Chubuki) are harvested in the fall after the plants enter the dormant phase or in early spring, before the beginning of the growing season. Harvesting in autumn is preferable because in this case it is easier to select healthy, powerful shoots for cuttings, whereas after winter many stems can be damaged by frost.
From autumn, harvested stems are stored in a cool, damp place at 2-4 °C, in the basement in winter. The basement is ideal for storage because it provides the best conditions for heat and humidity, and the whole vine can be placed there without cutting it into clusters. If you don’t have a cellar, dig out the vines directly into the ground or cut them into short clippings, wrap them in a bag with holes for ventilation and place in the refrigerator for the winter.
In early spring, in February-March, chibuki are removed from the rootstock and cut so that each has 3-5 buds. Then they are immersed by 2/3 in water with the addition of a rooting stimulant (rooting agent, grain testimon) and left for some time. After the emergence of roots up to 2 cm long, the cuttings are rooted and propagated in small containers, while carefully monitoring the moisture content of the soil. In the case of grapes, it is better not to flood the young plants, but to sprinkle them. The roots are sensitive to excess moisture.
Approximately in the middle of May, seedlings that have reached full bloom begin to prepare for relocation to the field. To do this, the plants are hardened: within two weeks, they are taken out into the fresh air every day, first in the shade from the sun.
They start with air baths for 15 minutes a day and gradually increase the time by half an hour. They are also accustomed to bright sunshine and increase the length of time they are exposed to sunlight from day to day. For the last 3-4 days before planting, the seedlings should be completely outdoors, and they should only be taken indoors.
Choosing a place to plant grapes
Grapes are a resident of southern latitudes, so they feel “gone” in the middle belt and especially in the zone of risky farming. This means that also the place for it should be chosen the best – as we would suggest to our dear guest.
The place for planting grapes should be elevated and at least half a day in the sun. Protection from cold winds and drafts is a must. A south or southwest slope is ideal for the vineyard and the south side of any building.
The plant has a powerful root system, so the neighborhood with other trees and shrubs closer than 4 m is undesirable to avoid competition. As grapes do not tolerate standing water at the roots, low layers, with groundwater 1.5-2 m above the surface or higher, are not suitable for them.
Planting cuttings in the field
Grape cuffs with open roots are recommended to plant in late April – early May. It is necessary to wait until the floor warms up to 10 ° C and the pere-soaking slows down. Young cuttings growing in containers are planted later – in the last days of spring or early summer.
Loose, more vigorous, nutrient-rich soil is suitable for grapes. A light sandy soil enriched with humus is ideal. When planting on peat floor or clay in the planting hole it is necessary to make a drainage layer 10-15 cm thick of gravel or blown roofing felt.
On slightly moist and breathable floors, the crop ripens one to two weeks earlier than on heavy clay floors.
The distance between grape bushes depends on the properties of the variety chosen. In the case of early varieties, the distance is usually about 1.5 m, while later varieties, which become larger and more massive, require more space – up to 2.5-3 m.
The size of planters depends on whether freshly cut seedlings or already grown bushes from containers are planted in them. In the first case, a 20 × 30 cm hole is sufficient, in the second case, you get a planting hole of about 60 × 80 cm.
Planting holes for grapes should preferably be prepared in the fall, but if it was not possible to do the work in advance, it can be done 4-6 weeks before planting in early spring.
When digging, the top layer is stacked separately from the bottom layer. After laying the drainage, a nutrient mixture prepared from the neighboring garden soil with the addition of two buckets of compost or humus, 500 g of wood chaff, 200 g of superphosphate and 100 g of urea is poured on the bottom.
Put the seedling in a hole, straighten the roots, fill the soil and compact it so that the first bud is a few centimeters above the floor. Then water the plants and mulch the floor with sawdust or grass cuttings to retain moisture.
In hot weather, the plants should be protected from the sun, and if there is a risk of cold sagging, it is worth temporarily covering the seedlings with light agrofiber on the arcs.
If you plant grapes away from a fence, wall or pergola, to which it can “catch”, it is advisable to immediately install trellises or supporting poles – they are dug into the ground to a depth of at least 60 cm.
To speed up the process of adaptation and help the seedling with roots, in the first few months after planting it is carefully cared for. Young grape bushes in the climate of the average strip are recommended to water at least once a week, with about 10 liters of water per plant. After watering, loosen the soil in the planting circles near the stem and be sure to remove weeds.
The vine begins to form in the first year after planting. In the first summer month, 3-4 shoots are formed on the bush, of which only one should remain until the end of summer, which will be the basis of the bush. Our articles will help you learn the subtleties of proper pruning and form.
Avoid these common mistakes when pruning grapes, and you can grow a sprawling bush with large and delicious berries.
Spring grape transplanting
Spring grape transplanting depends on the right choice of place, preparation of the floor and the pit. It is more convenient to place rows of wine bushes along fences or buildings on the southern, southwestern side of the plot.
Why transplanting is necessary
Transplanting grapes may be necessary in the following cases:
- First, the wrong location is chosen – lowland, lack of sunlight, draughts. Unsuitable for the vineyard heavy soils.
- At the first planting, the distance between the vines was not maintained, bushes began to interfere with each other and intertwine with the vines.
- The garden plot needs to be renewed.
- A nearby crop disrupts vine growth and vice versa.
- The vineyard had to be “relocated” to another garden plot.
- Slow vine growth.
- Low yields.
Timing of spring grape transplanting
It is reasonable to consider that it is better to transplant grapes in the spring than in the fall. Over the summer, the vine has time to get stronger, properly nourished, and will more easily endure winter frosts. Suitable data for this manipulation – from April 20 to May 5. In early spring, the plant has not yet fully awakened from the winter cold. There is still no swelling of the buds, leaves, but the soil has already warmed up enough to a favorable temperature for transplanting.
It is recommended to pay attention to the weather conditions. Each region has its own climate. In the south of the country, for example, it is better to plant in the middle of April. In northern latitudes, the suitable time is the beginning of May.
Advantages of spring transplanting
Spring grape transplanting has a number of advantages that make the job easier:
- Unlike fall, when temperatures can change drastically, spring is easier to control the weather.
- Transplants are easier to adapt to the new location, and have time to gain strength before the winter cold weather arrives.
- Ability to prepare the planting site in advance, fertilize the floor and rest before the spring work.
- Objectively determine how well the scion has put down roots or died.
- Some grape varieties will bear fruit the following year after spring planting. In the fall, transplant only those varieties whose harvest will ripen in two years.
Important note! Despite the fact that spring is characterized by sunny days, you should not lose vigilance, because frosts occur at night as well.
Choosing a transplanting material
Plant material should meet all requirements. Sick, underdeveloped shoots are not suitable for the future harvest. Only strong shoots should be selected in advance for transplanting vines.
Selection criteria for planting material:
- Absence of damage, cracks and spots.
- The bark has an even brown color.
- The thickness of the cuttings – from 5 mm, length – not less than 20 cm, with a green cut.
- The material of the first class must have at least three strong roots, without mold, rot. It is white on the cut.
- Well-developed buds in the number of three pieces.
- Elastic green leaves without flecks.
Cutting at transplanting
When transplanting to a new place on the grape bushes, it is necessary to leave at least two strong shoots along the row to later form a fan bush without stems. All unnecessary shoots are removed. This allows the seedling to gain strength and put down roots faster. When pruning the vine, remember that the wounds are on one side of the vine. The cuts should be straight. Each disc is cut, leaving 2-3 lower buds (eyelets).
Location and soil preparation
The quality of the soil and the location chosen are important for the abundant fruit production and growth of the vineyard. These factors must be observed properly.
Two methods are practiced – in pits and trenches. The latter is more tedious, but improves conditions for the formation of the root system.
Prepare the site for transplanting seedlings preferably from the fall:
- Choose a sunny place, preferably without strong draughts.
- Free the site from garbage, stones and chipped leaves.
- Make holes 70-80 cm deep and 1 meter wide.
- Dig a ditch 80 cm wide and 80 cm deep, 1.5-2 meters between the grape bushes.
- Lay a 6-8 cm layer of gravel or crushed stone drainage.
- Add to each hole and ditch under each bush humus – 3-5 kg, 200 g of superphosphate, 60 g of potassium chloride.
- All mixed with the top layer of soil. Leave it for the winter.
- Make holes and fill them with water. Let them stand until spring.
- If the floors on the property are too heavy, stir in some sand.
- In the spring, loosen the floor in prepared trenches or holes.
Fertilized with useful and nutritious elements, the floor provides the vineyard with everything it needs for 4-5 years.
Methods of grape transplanting
Gardeners practice four methods to move the crop to another location:
- Open Root System. The vines are dug up and the roots are carefully exposed. Roots that are too long are cut off and lowered into a container with growth stimulant for better rooting for 5 to 7 hours.
- Envelope. The trunk is transferred to the new location along with a clump of soil. A stretcher or plywood board can be used for simplicity.
- Stratification. The mature trunk is taken to the required distance and buried in a level groove, with only the top remaining on the surface. On the underground part of the young shoots adventitious roots are formed, the young shoot, partially passes to independent root nutrition. This method is suitable for grapes that are more than 5 years old.
- Transplanting with cuttings. The material should be prepared at the end of September after pruning the old bushes. In winter, cuttings are stored in a cool, dark place, covered with sand, at a temperature of 1 to 5 degrees Celsius.
Before planting, the root additive is removed from the glass, without disturbing the clod of soil. It is placed on the mound of soil poured into the hole. The seedling is placed so that the depth of planting from the surface of the earth to the heel (the lower end of the cuttings) was at least 50 cm, the roots are backfilled just above the root system with loose soil. Compact it, water it, and when the liquid is absorbed, the planting hole with humus or compost is mulched with a layer of 3-4 cm, such an unsaturated ditch or such a hole remains for the summer.
They dig only in the fall, in mid-September, and close part of the young shoot, so that around the seedling remains a wide hole of 10-12 centimeters below the floor.
Transplanting a young tree
In a young grape tree at the age of one to three years, dig the trunk in a circle at a distance of 30-40 cm and to a depth of 60 cm from the bush. Carefully lower it into the prepared hole and align all the roots. Filled with nutritious soil, watered.
Transplanting a mature tree
An adult shrub has quite powerful roots. Transplanting the tree to another place should be carried out very carefully. Such trees are dug to a depth of at least 80 cm, backing away from the trunk of 50 cm. Therefore, the safe way for mature shrubs is to transplant grafts or cuttings.
Care after transplanting
After planting, the culture requires careful care:
- The vine is treated against the invasion of pests, bacteria and fungi.
- It is recommended to fertilize the soil with nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus fertilizers.
- The ridge is regularly harvested to prevent weed growth.
- The soil around the trunk is loosened so that it is oxygenated.
- Seedlings are watered regularly, 10 liters of water per bush is required.
- Young shoots are shaded from direct sunlight to avoid burns.
- The main part of the leaves are cut off, which gives the seedling good rooting, a number of forces and growth.
- For the first time, seedlings are covered with a film to protect them from night frosts and spindles.
Proper care allows the plant to strengthen its immunity, gain strength for growth and wilting. This will help to better endure autumn and winter frosts.
Common questions about spring grape transplanting
Question: When is it too late to transplant grapes in the spring?
Answer: After grapes awaken from winter, they begin to have autonomous functions. Active sap movement begins. Transplanting such a bush is not recommended, otherwise the system will get a shock and may die. The optimal period for spring transplanting is from late April to early May.
Question: What will happen if you wear grapes too early in the spring?
Answer: Early transplanting causes a problem such as a pest infestation. The floor, not warmed to the right temperature, negatively affects the plant. These factors have an adverse effect and lead to inhibition of growth or even death of the plant.
Question: What happens if you often kick the grapes?
Answer: With frequent movement of the bush, this culture is depleted of immunity, the vine becomes more susceptible to pests and diseases. The root system does not have time to adapt to gain strength, which leads to deterioration or loss of yields up to and including the death of the vine.
Question: How do I know when it’s time to kick out the grapes?
Answer: You should transplant your vines when the temperature at night does not drop below +3 degrees. This is to avoid frosts and to avoid the risk of death.
Question: Does grape transplanting in the spring affect the quality of the harvest?
Answer: After transplanting in the spring, grapes recover their vigor. Fruits should not be expected until the following year. With proper care of the vines, the crop will enjoy its abundance and flavor regardless of when the transplanting was done.