Normal first year vine grow?

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ChuckD

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Well summer is almost done and I was hoping some grape growers could comment on my new vines. I used no fungicides or insecticides, just manual JB removal. I planted them in mid May and removed the blue grow tubes at the end of July. First up is the Petite Pearl.
20B1F1C9-E8CC-4E4E-8B11-521469C400B8.jpeg

They took off fast and were out of the tubes by mid-July. Since then they have not grown much. They tend to be a little bushier than the Marquette and most are only 3 feet tall.

Next are the Marquette.
F8884293-5070-4BA3-9504-8431AF57202B.jpeg
The Marquette lost most of the leaves that had been in the tubes. They started growing slower but really picked up speed in mid August. Now most of them are five feet tall and still growing. They tend to have one dominant cane.

Do these look normal? I expected more growth. I had read disease pressure probably wouldn’t be too bad the first year so I went with benign neglect. I watered three times during a prolonged dry spell but the vines never wilted or anything.
 
Looks good to me, especially for not having sprayed. Every vine I’ve planted grows a little differently. Some survive the first year and some don’t; some grow well on my site and some don’t and I pull them out and replace them with something else.
 
I agree they look great! Every variety grows differently and at different speeds. You want more roots than vines. As long as they are growing and green, you are good.

I need to pull grow tubes and have a tremendous amount of work to do this fall. Some of mine look dreadful even with spraying. As long as they are alive, I have hope.
 
I agree they look great! Every variety grows differently and at different speeds. You want more roots than vines. As long as they are growing and green, you are good.

I need to pull grow tubes and have a tremendous amount of work to do this fall. Some of mine look dreadful even with spraying. As long as they are alive, I have hope.
yes more roots than vines is the goal
 
Thanks. These plants are pretty representative. Some have more JB damage and a few just seem stunted and are half as tall as their peers. I have also been finding some leaves rolled up with insect eggs or larvae in them. I’ve been removing those and disposing of them.
 
Stay the course. You should see them take off next year but don’t be anxious for a crop next year.

2021 was such a dry year for me that my first year vines seemed puny. I considered them still first year vines this year. More like 1.5 year. They are growing more than I expected and I’m encouraged that they should have phenomenal roots.
 
Stay the course. You should see them take off next year but don’t be anxious for a crop next year.
Do you pinch off the flowers right away or wait until they have baby grapes? I know some plants will just be stimulated to make more flowers
If you take them off right away.

And I’ll be researching first year pruning this winter.
 
For me, frost too care of my second year crop. Generally, I'll pinch when ever I find the clusters.

There are a couple schools of thought on first pruning. Some say to prune back to two buds and others say to prune to one trunk and cut back to the fruiting wire. You probably will need to evaluate each vine and choose how far back to prune depending on the amount of winter dieback.
 
For me, frost too care of my second year crop. Generally, I'll pinch when ever I find the clusters.

There are a couple schools of thought on first pruning. Some say to prune back to two buds and others say to prune to one trunk and cut back to the fruiting wire. You probably will need to evaluate each vine and choose how far back to prune depending on the amount of winter dieback.
I have been paying attention at local vineyards and most of them are keeping two trunks. Often you can tell where one was removed and a new one trained up.
 
I was going to train two trunks. I’m going to re-evaluate that this winter. I’m still learning!
 
I'm looking for some help, please. I planted 5 merlot vines on April 16, 2023 that I bought from Grapevines Unlimited. All were prepped and planted in the exact same manner. As of today four of the vines are growing nicely, with three of them already reaching above the top of the blue grow tubes (first photo). One vine has remained leafed-out, but has not grown more than 2 inches (second photo). They all get full sun and are irrigated every other day. Any thoughts?
 

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