At What Point do you Turn the Water back On and Fertilize?

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DesertDance

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Our vines are dormant at the moment. Just wondering, since this is my first year, do you fertilize at bud break? Do you turn the drip system on partially or full at bud break?

Thanks!
Suzi
 

AlFulchino

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i am only vaguely familiar w your site...and my understanding is that your vines were planted last year.

prior to bud break the sap is flowing.....so you need to evaluate your soil and see what the moisture level looks like...this all happens before bud break...so take a moment when you get a chance and poke around in that soil and see what the dormant season has left you...your roots probably developed to a depth close to the height of whats above soil....

a soil sample is a good bet before you get bud break too....this will help you tailor your feeding needs

i would recommend holding off on a quick release N until bud break...thats just me...you could run the risk of having it wash away if you have rains before their is much leaf growth

more info of course is needed...do you get frost/dates etc but this is a start
 

DesertDance

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Thanks Al! In the desert of southern California, I am the only grower of wine grapes that I know of. There are huge growers of table grapes here. They supply Costco and places like that. These people probably know something I refuse to believe! But, I'm going with the Spanish, Greek, Aussie, Chilean and Italian heat loving varietals, so trying to prove them all wrong.

All of our vines have lost most of their leaves, even the ones I started as green softwood cuttings last summer. Little baby vines! So cute!!

New Hampshire will have bud break later than we will here. Our spring starts in March and by June summer is in full force, so I appreciate what you have said, and I'll be careful that the rains have tapered off before I apply fertilizer. I have something called a "soil sleuth." Its a little plastic thing that you push down into the earth, twist and pull up, and it's easy to see what you have. Never had the soil tested, but I do know it's mostly sand and clay and we are 35' below sea level, so water is reachable by any roots that venture deep.

Your comments have been very helpful!
Thanks!
Suzi
 

AlFulchino

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well i would love to hear what varieties you have

we have sap flowing in march..BUT leaves???? hahahahah mid may

a soil test will tell you very important things in addition to what you know which is the make up...sand etc...a soil test will tell you ph, and nutrient levels or lack of

you mentioned they may know something you dont...it is possible they do....then again you may be on to something.....

since you likely get very high heat you will have days when the vine just shuts down...BUT, you have me wondering if its possible on a small scale to cover the vines so that only during the high heat part of the day they are maybe 10-20 degrees cooler...i dont think you need to experiment w that UNTIL you have proven to yourself that the high heat is indeed a real problem..then maybe use a shade cloth or something

make sure we get some pictures
 

DesertDance

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Not sure how to get the soil tested. I guess I could call our Riverside County Ag boys and find out.

There is a product on the market called Shade Cover. You spray it on, and it protects from freeze and heat transpiration. I use it on our citrus in winter to protect from freeze. It does get cold here. The snow is in the mountains and it blows cold into this valley. It can go high 30's, and the summers are high 110's!! Extreme weather. It never snows, but there is frost on the golf course almost every morning.

Shade cloth. OMG! I am the queen of shade cloth!! It looks really tacky clothespinned to the trellis over the vines, but it works like a charm.

Kicking the drip system up helps also.

Looking forward to the day I can do the tackiest thing of all and put my bare hands netting for bird protection over my producing vines!!

Thanks Al!
Suz
 
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