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Grape growing in wet soil

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nicklausjames

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Everything I have heard about wet soil and grapes has been bad. However the only land available to me is pretty wet. There is no standing water but if drive a truck through it would leave ruts but not get stuck. The location is in western ny near Lake Ontario. I'm wondering if the rootstock can counter this or if anyone has any other ideas. Unfortunately tile is not possible because there is nowhere near to drain too.
 

grapeman

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It would be a bad idea to plant there. Even with a tolerant rootstock, the vines will always do poorly and even worse in wet spells.
 

jamesjr

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I have a similar problem except sour in central fl. I have some muscadine Growing along my fence there under a yr old. But were I planted them can get fairly wet especially during rainy season. Alot of my property does though. And quick question how much do I trim it back yearly? I only have 2 vines lol but im trying to propagate more
 

Sage

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Any chance of making raised beds to plant on??
 

RedSun

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You do not need a raised bed. What you need is something like a earth berm. Basically you dig a long wide and shallow ditch or trench, move the soil to other side and make a mound, or berm. Then you do not have any drainage problem. The mound can be a foot high or higher if the bed is wide.

If this is a large area, you can just get a machine and this can be done easily. For small area, this may be done with hand, but it is a lot of work.

This is how folks grow blueberry and other plants sensitive to wet feet.
 

grapeman

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Grapes are a deep rooted plant so unless you make a 4 or 5 foot berm or raised bed, they will still suffer. Roots in wet soil cannot take up nutrients or other needed things. Anyone who does not believe this just needs to grow vines in wet soil to see the results. I can show you vines that are thriving within just a matter of yards of wet soil. The ones in the wet soil struggle and never yield well or ripen fruit well.
 

Sage

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Grapes are a deep rooted plant so unless you make a 4 or 5 foot berm or raised bed, they will still suffer. Roots in wet soil cannot take up nutrients or other needed things. Anyone who does not believe this just needs to grow vines in wet soil to see the results. I can show you vines that are thriving within just a matter of yards of wet soil. The ones in the wet soil struggle and never yield well or ripen fruit well.
True, but if that's what you have to work with, make the best of it any way you can. Drain tile along side the berms??
 

RedSun

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Raised bed is essentially a soil mound, but with non-native soil contained within the bed. If you want a high mound, dig the trench deeper, install drainage pipes in the trench, collect the drainage water at the end. 4-5' can be done, particularly if the drainage pipes are buried.

Of course by adding the drainage pipe, the cost is higher and move design is involved. You need to have some way to dispose the water from the pipe, like a drainage reservoir, etc.
 

jamesjr

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I just thaught of something I have a raised bed on my back porch its like 2 feet above the ground and its got a porch and gutter over hang so it wont get to wet its only 40-50ft . Only thing it doesn't get but a couple hours a day of sun. Lol so im stuck between wet soil full sun or dryer soil and less sun. What do I do and whats better?
 

grapezilla

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If you can make a deep enough ditch it might not be a problem that you have nowhere to drain it to, just to get some excess water there.

How many vines you want to plant? If it's just a few for fun and pleasure you could make a mound and if the soil is heavy you can try to mix in some sand or volcanic rock or whatever help it release water.

I also think that while grapes benefit from deep soil the grapes will do ok'ish even with a high water table as long if you have them a feet or two above soaking, a bit like your native riverbank grape I guess. I'm saying it's not the optimum but I'm pretty sure that if it's just a few vines and they get would get enough sunlight you'd get some results by just making a small mound and a trench then planting a few hardy vines.

At the end of the day it's the only way to find out.
 

jamesjr

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Ya im going to try and im only planting a few for fun nothing serious. I just like having random little edible blankets on the property
 

Sage

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I've been dealing with winter and spring water behind my Cabs. Checked yesterday and there was standing water. I've been suspecting that it was causing low yields and other problems.

Mid day I took the small excavator in there. I had to dig a path in through mud. I started at the far end and worked my way back out. Just digging enough that the water flowed and was following me.

I checked this morning and there was still a small stream of water running down the new ditch. I hope to be able to put a drain pipe and cover a lot of it back or it will limit my access back there.
 
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