Help with small vineyard planning

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ChuckD

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You mentioned being organic. Between Japanese Beetles and fungus, that is really difficult
Thanks for the advice. The veggie garden will stay organic but I’m gonna do what I need to for the grapes. As for Japanese Beetles, I won’t say how they have been here least I jinx myself.

My rows will follow the contour, so running NE-SW (skewed more N-S). I’ll check out that trellising method but I’m leaning more HWC right now. As for grapes I’m starting with Marquette Foch, and Petite Pearl. Looking at Verona too. It’s gonna be a crazy year so I’m starting small with a couple dozen vines.

Here’s the layout I settled on.
0BF00E8C-4A10-48EC-8EDA-A7038D5940C7.jpeg
 

Rice_Guy

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The strict answer is that you will not have enough disease population for the first two years that you will see a difference. From my experience it will be worth while getting that part of the process started so that you are ready on year three when the cordons are being trained. For me the spray program is a lot of the learning curve, possibly since I tried to be organic, ,, when I started and with only two vines in the back yard organic worked.
I’m going to be planting my first vines this spring. Do I need to spray this year even though there won’t be any fruiting?
 
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wood1954

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I tried organic and it was a disaster in Wisconsins humid summers. After picking over two thousand jap beetles I got out the spray, yes I really did count them. Last year I didn’t keep my fungicide schedule and paid for it dearly. I also didn’t notice how many stink bugs were in the clusters until harvest and crush time when it was too late. This year it’s full on chemical warfare.
 

wood1954

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Thanks for the advice. The veggie garden will stay organic but I’m gonna do what I need to for the grapes. As for Japanese Beetles, I won’t say how they have been here least I jinx myself.

My rows will follow the contour, so running NE-SW (skewed more N-S). I’ll check out that trellising method but I’m leaning more HWC right now. As for grapes I’m starting with Marquette Foch, and Petite Pearl. Looking at Verona too. It’s gonna be a crazy year so I’m starting small with a couple dozen vines.

Here’s the layout I settled on.
View attachment 84480
What kind of crops will be planted on the adjacent property? That might impact your pest situation in a good way or not if they spray and it drifts onto your grapes
 

ChuckD

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What kind of crops will be planted on the adjacent property? That might impact your pest situation in a good way or not if they spray and it drifts onto your grapes
The neighbor rotates corn three or four years then alfalfa four or five years. It’s about ready for alfalfa … probably next year. No spraying at all while it’s in alfalfa. Except for maybe liquid fertilizer. Corn gets some roundup and probably others in the Mix.

I’m keeping 20’ between the grapes and the field. I’ll also be talking to him about overspray.
 

ChuckD

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I have noticed Japanese beetles really like sandy soil. So far they have not been a big problem here but that can always change. I’ll do what I have to do to keep the grapes going.
 

Rice_Guy

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My experience is similar to @wood1954 except I tried organic longer. My neighbor farmer sprays alfalfa for weevils. I haven’t noticed ag chemical damage on anything I grow, but it always stinks so I try to stay inside when they spray. Drift? am I down wind?
The neighbor rotates corn three or four years then alfalfa four or five years. It’s about ready for alfalfa … probably next year. No spraying at all while it’s in alfalfa. Except for maybe liquid fertilizer. Corn gets some roundup and probably others in the Mix.

I’m keeping 20’ between the grapes and the field. I’ll also be talking to him about overspray.
 

VinesnBines

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Japanese Beetles love grapes no matter the soil. In fact, I have two plots 300 miles apart The main vineyard on heavy clay had a pretty heavy JB presence last year. I had very few in Eastern Virginia in sandy soil. I have grapes, corn and roses in the sandy soil but not many JBs.

I'm putting in 90 vinifera in the Eastern VA plot and I have a beehive about 25 feet from the vines. I'm going to have to work to keep from killing the bees with spray. The vines are going to be really close (4 feet between the rows and 3 feet between the vines) so I hope overspray won't be a issue. I'll hand spray and only in the evening whey the bees are in the hive. I'm hoping for the best.
 

BigH

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Corn gets some roundup and probably others in the Mix.

I’m keeping 20’ between the grapes and the field. I’ll also be talking to him about overspray.
Definitely recommend having a talk. Corn is a grass, and like other grasses, is not impacted by 2,4-D. Spraying corn with 2,4-D is quite common, especially with the emergence of roundup resistant weeds.

Also, make sure to register your vineyard with driftwatch.

H
 

ChuckD

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When looking at a pest management guide I saw that Asian lady beetles are a problem. Did not expect that! I figured since they are predators they would be good at eating other pests. Unfortunately I typically have them in abundance. When my field is in alfalfa/hay they get so bad in the fall I have, on occasion, kept a broom outside by the door so I can sweep them off before opening it! I have spent years tracking down and sealing entry points so those buggers don’t get in the house to overwinter.
 

ChuckD

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Well conditions were right so I took a day off work and started prepping the vineyard area 😀. I took down three trees and burned the limbs. I also burned the heavy buildup of plants on top of the hill. The side of the hill is more gravelly so even after 25 years there’s not much debris or sod.
6EC57EE6-FD49-4C87-A960-D5616182DFB1.jpeg
grapes should do fine here. Under all that brush and grass the ground was crawling with wild grape vines. I hope to get the stumps pulled and have it plowed up by May.
 

GSMChris

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Well conditions were right so I took a day off work and started prepping the vineyard area 😀. I took down three trees and burned the limbs. I also burned the heavy buildup of plants on top of the hill. The side of the hill is more gravelly so even after 25 years there’s not much debris or sod.
View attachment 87277
grapes should do fine here. Under all that brush and grass the ground was crawling with wild grape vines. I hope to get the stumps pulled and have it plowed up by May.
Doesn‘t feel great to move ahead after all the planning? Congrats on this first big step
 

ChuckD

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On Thursday the neighbor disked the vineyard area. The plan was to disk it again two or three times then drag it, plant grass seed, and roll it. plenty of rock picking in between.
B6631E9B-5065-485E-B465-46A2897A9473.jpeg

Of course just after he finished disking we got 5” of rain! Now the area is mush and we’re probably set back at least a week…. Barring more rain of course
 
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plenty of rock picking in between.
Picking by hand or by machine?

Some years back my neighbor was setting up a business and I was a guinea pig for a service he planned to provide -- he used a machine that chewed up the top 6" or so of my back yard, separating out rocks over a certain size, and dropping the soil back in place. In my part of NC, we have red clay, and nothing grows in red clay better than rocks. After he was done he dropped a 3' high pile of stones in a natural area on my property. It worked really well!
 

GSMChris

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I feel your pain on the rock picking. For now I am just making piles between the plants, with an eye towards running my lawn tractor with a trailer down the aisles for pick up later.

Then I need to disc and generally level things out - which will flip up more rocks I’m sure…

So I guess multiple passes are in my future :(

best of luck to you
 

ChuckD

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Then I need to disc and generally level things out - which will flip up more rocks I’m sure…
When I planted my lawn 25 years ago I dragged it flat and raked up every rock bigger than a quarter… I probably had a wheelbarrow load every 12 feet on center. I got them all
Picked up and then we had a heavy rain. The next morning It looked like I hadn’t picked up one! I learned you just have to quit at level then get a big roller and squish them down.

I just got in from driving in a dozen T-posts for my garden fence and I had to move 9 of them at least once due to rocks. I use the cast ones and the top of every post is chipped and mushroomed from the driver.
 

GSMChris

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Unfortunately they pop back up. The "dig down 6 inches" worked -- the areas my neighbor did have yet to pop another rock.
Well, I’ve got a few that need to get out of the way regardless. For scale, that’s a 24 inch tube at the top of the picture. And yes, the collection all came out of one hole - which I was trouble shooting to figure out why it had standing water two days after watering. Combination of clay and bowling ball sized rocks 4FBBE67E-620B-44D4-B6F5-C93EFBB0A076.jpeg
 

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