Backyard Vineyard Woes

Discussion in 'Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum' started by Mizfitjon, Jun 22, 2019.

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  1. Jun 25, 2019 #21

    BigH

    BigH

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    For immobile nutrients like phosphorous and zinc, the short grass roots probably don't compete with grape vines. Mobile nutrients are a different matter. One key form of nitrogen (NO3) is highly mobile and moves with water throughout the soil. I would expect grass and grape vines to compete heavily for it, regardless of root depth.

    Also, don't forget about water itself. Any water taken up by grass will never reach roots of the vine. Double whammy because that water would have brought some NO3 nitrates along with it.

    My soil is pretty high in organic matter and very well drained. I actually want grass stealing some of those nutrients to suppress the vigor of my mature vines.

    H
     
  2. Jun 25, 2019 #22

    sremick

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    Well, with the amount of rain we've gotten this month, that might be a good thing.

    But thanks for the info, that does help explain things. I'm currently toying between laying permeable landscape fabric (a pain after the fact, now that the vines are already in, but still do-able) to smother and kill the grass, or sucking it up and busting my back digging up the grass with the shovel. I'm leaning towards the fabric.

    I do have stones around each vine about 1-1.5 feet but I just got those from digging the holes. I'm not keen on buying stone to do the whole swath down the row.
     
  3. Jun 25, 2019 #23

    BigH

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    Since you have grow tubes on, you could kill the grass around the vines with a non-volatile herbicide like glyphosate or glufosinate.

    H
     
  4. Jun 25, 2019 #24

    sremick

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    I do organic gardening and I'm philosophically and ethically opposed to glyphosate/Round-Up. Glufosinate also has issues and is likewise incompatible with how I garden.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2019 #25

    Dennis Griffith

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    Well then, this is one option. I have one and use it, if I must.

    hoe.jpg
     
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  6. Jun 26, 2019 #26

    Masbustelo

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    Regarding grass and weeds having a negative impact on vines in this instance. There is a phenomena known as allelopathy. Allelopathy is a biological phenomenon by which an organism produces one or more biochemicals that influence the germination, growth, survival, and reproduction of other organisms. Not all plants play well together.
     
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  7. Jun 26, 2019 #27

    Dennis Griffith

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    Ahhh, a budding dendrologist! And I thought I was the only one... Yes, plants (mostly trees) will change their environment to improve their changes and limit competition. But BigH is on the money with his earlier information.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2019 #28

    BigH

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    Sounds very similar to killer yeast strains. I don't know anything about allelopathy, but the black walnut tree seems like a good example of what you are talking about.

    H
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2019
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  9. Jun 26, 2019 #29

    fermenter

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    I can't tell if it's good or bad, but I have mint, oregano, sage, and chives growing between my vines which are 8 ft. apart. I just add plenty of compost for everything. I thought it might help keep some of the pests away. We dry the herbs for winter use.
     
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  10. Jun 26, 2019 #30

    Dennis Griffith

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    I'm sorry, I did not mention what I consider adequate an weed free zone. Like I mentioned, I only eliminate the weeds up to 3 years. Most of my varieties require a 6 - 8 foot spacing. I set them at 7.5 feet apart for max production. The rows start out at 48" wide (width of my tiller). I test the soil and amend accordingly prior to planting. I also 'burn down' the rows the year before and keep them weed free. Unfortunately that doesn't mean seed free. I subsoil the rows to 24" in late fall, and then till, amend, and till again. I till again in spring prior to planting in May. Year old vines go in, so that means I keep the weeds out for the next 2. After that time, I pull weeds that can be intrusive and weed eat the rest right down to ground level. Sorry for being so verbose, but I wanted to be descriptive about my process, which I've developed over the years, starting a long time ago with fruit trees, and in recent years grapes. Hope this helps.
     
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  11. Jun 26, 2019 #31

    Dennis Griffith

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    How do dry the herbs? As in do you soak them in something or just clean them and run them through a dehydrator? What temp do you dry at?
     
  12. Jun 26, 2019 #32

    sremick

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    Ah, a propane weed torch. Not sure why I didn't think of that. That could work swimmingly.

    So your rows are 48" apart, and the vines spaced 7.5' in the rows. But what do you consider a necessary weed-free zone width within the row of vines?

    My mower is 50'... I know I left a foot or so extra on each side when I spaced my rows.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2019 #33

    Dennis Griffith

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    Sorry, I meant that the rows are 48" wide. I space my rows at 15' (I have a lot of space). So I keep the row (48" x how ever long the row is) weeded for the time I mentioned. I used to use a cultivating hoe, but with adding 50 some vines every year, the job soon grew to be. The smallest mowers I have are either 54" or 60", depending on what I'm riding. I like the 54" for the vineyard as it's a rear discharge Woods mower.

    Yes, I have a propane type torch meant for burning out weeds and such. It looks kind of like a flame thrower out of the movies, but my reference to 'burn down' was the use of straight glyphosate to kill down to the roots. I don't like to use a lot of it, but will use it sparingly. BTW, they is a product called Avenger that is citrus oil based that is considered organic and natural. You can also find recipes for vinegar/Epsom salt mixtures that will kill foliage. These don't get the roots, but if you keep killing the foliage weekly, the roots will give up eventually.
     
  14. Jun 26, 2019 #34

    fermenter

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    Dennis, my wife usually just washes off the leaves and hangs them upside down in our attached garage which is also her quilting studio.
     
  15. Jun 27, 2019 #35

    Dennis Griffith

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    Thanks, that's what I do already. Cut the plant off at the base and hang it upside down in a cool, dry, out of the way spot. She doesn't think that's a good way, but it works for me. She tossed the basil I had from last year, but at least it went into the compost pile.
     

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