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Dustyfj

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Im planning on building a small vineyard at my new home in Carroll county Maryland. I’ve got an area roughly 2.5 acres for planting. Ive previously posted here:

I just got my soil results back from univ of Delaware. Very excited to move this project forward. Next step I suppose will be reaching out to the UMD extension office and the local grape grower association.

any advice based on these numbers?
0ADE1A18-0C61-48A2-9EDE-CFB399BC106A.jpeg
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KevinL

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Best thing to do is to look up any local vineyards in your area and see if you can ask about any soil changes they may have done before planting. A few of the other guys here might know a bit more about soil than I do though.

I had the benefit of seeing wild Riparia thriving on my property before I planted, so I had the benefit of knowing that any Riparia Hybrid was going to do well here. Take a peek around and see what's growing well.

Good luck! Big adventure ahead for you!
 

BigH

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Phosphorus and potassium are not very mobile in soil. If you decide to amend your soil, it is best to do it before planting and till them in as deep as your equipment allows.

You may need annual applications of potassium to replenish what grapes take out (which is quite a bit). Note that my vineyard soil is loaded with potassium, so I don't have direct experience with this problem. Good luck

H
 

Dustyfj

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I made a plan to plant the whole field over the next five years.

I color coded the planting years to make it easier to follow. I’d like to end up with an organized vineyard with all of my varieties separated out with some kind of order.
This is a very rough draft. I haven’t finalized the varieties I’m planting and the quantities could change. I left a few sections of “undecided”
do I have too much or not enough of anything?
I plan on ordering my 2021 vines over the next couple weeks.
 

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Dustyfj

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I should specify that grid is 1cm=8’. Every intersection represents a vine
 

VinesnBines

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First, are you planning to leave space to turn vehicles and equipment? You may be towing equipment (sprayers, trailers) and that will take even more room to turn.
If you plan to plant vinifera, you don't need 8 feet between vines. Four feet spacing in the row is the recommendation for vinifera. I think you are in zone 6a; check the hardiness and the growing degree days for your varieties. What are the local vineyards growing?
It looks like you have 8 feet between the rows; that may be enough for your tractor but a truck will be a tight squeeze. We have 9 feet between a few rows and a Dodge Dakota barely fits - we nearly lose a mirror on the trellis posts - especially on the slope and wet grass. You will be harvesting in the early morning so you'll need to keep all that in mind.
Finally, I understand the plan to plant in an orderly fashion but rather than skipping rows, consider shorter rows and add on by lengthening the rows in later years. Depending on your soil prep and plan for trellis construction, you may find it too hard to get in between established rows. You will be covering a lot of ground to spray, train, thin, harvest.... We didn't put our trellis in when we planted our first block and discovered it was too hard to get equipment in the established rows.
It does take a lot of planning both on paper and in the field. I walked miles back and forth, measuring, laying off rows, marking vine and post locations. Do your homework on varieties; I can't stress that enough. Look around this site and see how many people complain that a particular variety won't grow or ripen in their location.
Good luck!
 

salcoco

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I would plant 8 ft spacing between plants and 10 ft between rows. ounce plants reach maturity they will overhang into the row which will reduce space about 2-4 ft depending on vine vigor.
 

mbrssmd

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Best thing to do is to look up any local vineyards in your area and see if you can ask about any soil changes they may have done before planting. A few of the other guys here might know a bit more about soil than I do though.


Along the lines of the excellent advice above:

Perhaps you've done so already but I would recommend checking out (and joining) the Maryland Grape Growers Association (MarylandGrapes.org). They make a wealth of information available (along with excellent seminars and clinics). Through MGGA you will also get more easily connected with other commercial growers as well as the UMD extension services -- including getting on the mailing list of UMD winegrower specialist Joe Fiola (along with opportunities to connect with other extensions, such as Penn). In particular, I strongly recommend you reach out to Joe regarding your plans, if possible, before you pull the trigger. They have a ton of information on costing things out when getting into such a venture, etc.

I live in Carroll County, just a geezer backyard guy with 150 vines (Barbera, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot). To the constant boredom of my long-suffering spouse, I always say I foresee a day when the lovely rolling (but not particularly fertile) farmland around here makes the switch from monocrops of corn and soybeans to grapes. So I'll be rooting for you. Best wishes in your venture.
 

Dustyfj

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Thanks all for the responses, it sounds like I may want to go a little wider with my rows. I’ll also have to measure how much space I have allotted along the top fence line. Somewhere in the 25’ neighborhood.

My initial plan was to start with half rows or less, but all my best growing area will be in the middle of the field. I didn’t want to start with a big square out in the middle of the field.

ill reach out to the mgga this week and see about joining. I actually did send an email to the address listed for joe on the UMD wedsite with no response but maybe once I’m in the mgga I’ll be able to get ahold of him.
Mbrssmd-I’d love you check out your setup sometime

see attached drawing that shows What I think are my best growing areas.
 

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VinesnBines

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To get a good feel for you plan, drive in some stakes and string to lay off your planned rows. Then you can walk and drive around. It will give you a better idea of spacing.
Definitely join the growers association and get in contact with your local extension service.
 

Dustyfj

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To get a good feel for you plan, drive in some stakes and string to lay off your planned rows. Then you can walk and drive around. It will give you a better idea of spacing.
Definitely join the growers association and get in contact with your local extension service.
This is a good idea. Waiting for the last
Cut of hay before I start driving on the field.
 

Dustyfj

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Revised layout for 9’ rows and 8’ vine spacing. (Vine spacing may change)

looks like I lose 6 rows. (Not all full length) I haven’t run projections yet but once fully planted that’s quite a bit of grapes. Maybe losing 200 vines total?
 

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VinesnBines

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Once you add trellis posts it gets really tight. I didn't want to go to 10 but my husband was right. That extra foot gives a lot more room.
 

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