New muscadine vineyard, seeking suggestions

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John Pichnic

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Hi all,

I plan to start a muscadine vineyard. I only have room for 10 plants without crowding them.
I am thinking about getting different varieties to produce different wines.
I expect some to fail, and some to be undesirable. I'll replace those as needed.
They say 40-60 pounds per plant, seems like a single plant will produce several batches(5gal), but please tell me if that is incorrect.

I currently like.....
From Willis Orchid: Cowart, and Carlos for self fertile, Bronze Fry, and Red Summit females.
https://www.willisorchards.com/category/muscadine-&-scuppernong-grape-vines#.XJGAnKLp_mg

From Ison: Ison for self fertile, Pam, Darlene, Black Beauty, Supreme, Sweet Jenny females.
https://www.isons.com/product-category/muscadines/


I was thinking of using steel poles in cement, and steel shields around the bottom of the vines to keep vermin from climbing to the vine. The area is fenced in with hurricane type fencing, but we have lots of raccoons, squirrels, skunks and opossums here. They have no difficulty getting over the fence! Hopefully, I'll only have to fight the mocking birds. For the trellis, I am thinking of having only 1 horizontal wire, about 5 foot high. Chickens will roam the vineyard, but the roots will be protected.

I am 25 miles from the gulf of Mexico, lots of humidity and heat.
My soil is mostly good loamy sand, but I plan on tilling each planting hole and adding 2 cu.ft. of peat.
I am planning on using commercial landscape fabric, a 3' wide strip all the way down each side of each row.

The vines will be 20' apart, in mostly sunny locations.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I'll post pictures as it develops if y'all are interested.

Thanks in advance,
John
 

Bobp

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40-60 pounds per plant, seems like a single plant will produce several batches(5gal),
Out of curiosity....where did you get the several batches from 40-60#? I feel you may be underestimating what you will want to be using, as several things come into consideration here.....and not each variety will produce the same amount of juice......but several batches from 40-60# doesn't seem possible unless you dilute it?

Others may weigh in differently...

I planted hoping for 5 gallons of juice per vine..... But planted 50 each of 5 varieties.....
 
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garymc

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You will be able to easily find muscadine roots 10 feet from the trunk of the vine. Amending the planting hole is mostly to make you feel good. I did it, too. I used landscaping fabric, too. Bark or wood mulch to help hold it down in addition to pins. Sand and dirt get in the mulch and it becomes better soil for grass and weeds than the rest of the area. Except when you pull a weed, it's rooted into the landscaping cloth. What a nightmare. I didn't do landscaping fabric on my second set of vines. I have vines 16, 18, and 20 feet apart. 16 isn't so good. I have some 5 feet high and some 5 feet, 6 inches. I wish they were all 6 feet, but I don't have any experience with vines at 6 feet height to be sure about it. I bought bare root trees from Willis several years ago. I like to call them no root trees, now. Naturally, they died and I was able to send the bottoms back for replacements the next year. Same thing, and I realized I could spend the rest of my life messing with their nursery stock, so I went elsewhere. Good luck with the animals. They will probably be your worst challenge.
 

John Pichnic

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Out of curiosity....where did you get the several batches from 40-60#? I feel you may be underestimating what you will want to be using, as several things come into consideration here.....and not each variety will produce the same amount of juice......but several batches from 40-60# doesn't seem possible unless you dilute it?

Others may weigh in differently...

I planted hoping for 5 gallons of juice per vine..... But planted 50 each of 5 varieties.....
You are correct. One 5 gal batch per vine, does that sound more reasonable?.
https://robertcraigwine.typepad.com/the_craig/2009/09/q-a-doing-the-math-from-vine-to-bottle.html
 

John Pichnic

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I bought bare root trees from Willis several years ago. I like to call them no root trees, now. Naturally, they died and I was able to send the bottoms back for replacements the next year. Same thing, and I realized I could spend the rest of my life messing with their nursery stock, so I went elsewhere.
I've seen a lot of negativity about them, but 100% of the berry plants I got from them are doing very well. Ison sells a bigger vine for less money and they are muscadine specialist, so I may just go with them. However, I haven't seen any feedback about Ison at all. No news is good news, or don't put all your eggs in one basket?
 

Bobp

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One 5 gal batch per vine, does that sound more reasonable?
Yes sir this seems more in line to me.

I bought most of mine from Bottoms Nursery, but some came from Isons, both had great healty stock, huge roots, but isons back ordered me so i checked bottoms and the were able to oblige.

Bottoms tips deeply and the plants i received were 5-6' long, with huge root systems, tons of fine hairy roots.
 

Bobp

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Keep em weed free the first couple of years at least....
Mine are planted in bare strips.... in went round and round over mulching them and finally opted not to.
Ive used Surflan, Princep, Paraquat tank mixed to keep the strip bare......no competition.

I let weeds and grass get get up in my Elderberries and raspberries and it really set my production back....
Got off on the right foot and took the proactive route this winter
 

garymc

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I've had good luck with Bottoms and Ison's.
 

robert81650

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You need to think about Carlos for your white muscadine and Norton for you reds. Most of the ones you mentioned
are for eating and not wine making. Fry is not a good wine grape neither is BlCheack Beauty or Supreme.
 

robert81650

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Ison is also a good one for wine. I have been making muscadine wine for 4 years and won a gold and silver medal from the Winemakers Magazine International Amateur wine contest last
year one 2 types of red muscadines. Ison was one of the winners.
 

John Pichnic

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Just an update, for the wise. I canceled the order from Willis Orchid on the 9th due to non shipment, they responded on the 11th with a notification of intent to ship. Ison's (ordered later) are already growing in my yard.
 
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