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FrontenacMan

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I've got a garden vineyard with 8 vines (4 Frontenac and 4 Frontenac Gris). I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on soil management under the vines? I've been mulching but recently learned (after battling a few this spring) that Grape Flea larvae like to winter in decayed wood pores. I also think that mulch might be a haven for black rot spores but not sure about that. My wife was doing some research on companion plants and found that chives are a good companion for grapes along with oregano and basil. My two questions with that are first will they steal nutrients from the soil and second will they impart any flavors into the grapes. Any other suggestions are welcome on ground cover to control weeds and bugs (Japanese beetles Grape Fleas etc.).
 

salcoco

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ground cover should not affect taste of grapes. I sued good old Round up on windless days with spay wand very close to ground. done with good timing only need three sprays a year. once before bud break for over winter weed. once during summer, once just past harvest. spray will not hurt vines if only bark is hit, will affect vines if leaf have been sprayed.
for Japanese beetles liquid Sevin is best. spray as soon as seen in vineyard, again within a week should take care of any swarm.
 

FrontenacMan

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Thanks. Yes, I discovered Sevin a couple of years ago when JB's first started invading and keep it on hand now. I did research on the little buggers and found out that they lay eggs in the ground and then grubs hatch and emerge into beetles. So I did a milky spore treatment just to kill whatever might be in the ground. Unfortunately that only covers my small lot and apparently they can travel for miles. We also had (had is the operative word here) two red bud trees which I found out they love. I sprayed the trees with Sevin and it rained Japanese Beetles. The trees have since died and are now gone. I'm hoping that with that food source out of the way there may be less this year. We'll see.
I also fertilize (mostly compost but have also used 10-10-10). They're 4 year old vines now and are producing nice grapes.
 

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