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Planting small Vinyard in the spring

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randomhero

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Hey all,

I finally bought my own house this august and got the go ahead from the wife to plant some vines. I'm gonna start smaller at just 50 vines to start. Going to start with 30 cayuga white and 20 of another variety, not sure if it would be red or another white grape (suggestions would help!) I am located in Breesport NY, about 25 minutes from Watkins Glen NY.

I got my soil sample today for the cornell cooperative extension for my area, which is in Elmira NY. Just was wondering on what else I should prep for the spring. I have read from vines to wines probably 10 times now and researched on double A vinyards site and also on this forum for tips.

I originally wanted to find a backhoe to turn the dirt in the "rows" I will have but can't locate someone at the moment. Hope this isn't a huge deal.

Thanks!
Nick
 

grapeman

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Unless you have a wet soil I would not waste my time on digging trenches and replacing the soil with a mixture. Vines do well in a good variety of soils.

You should be able to plant quite a few different vines there. Good luck and be sure to ask questions as you go along.
 

randomhero

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I was hoping I would hear from you grapeman. I am actually just shy of reading the first 100 pages in your thread. I'm going through it each post at a time to get any pointers haha.

I wasn't going to replace the soil but just turn it like was suggested in vines to wine book. But if wthats unnecessary I won't attempt it.
 

randomhero

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I really wanted to try Riesling vines. But didn't know how well tehy would fare in my area. I know the wineries all around me work well with them. But they have actual training to make it work for them.
 

grapeman

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Start with the easier varieties and then as you get more experience, you might try some Riesling and other vinifera that grow in your area. The hybrids will give you a bit more disease resistance.
 

randomhero

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Yeah that's what I decided on, don't need to spend all that money just to have everything die on me.

So would it be alright to just dig holes where I will be planting, instead of bringing heavy machinery in to cut the rows? I could buy a rototiller to till the land a little better.

I will add pictures of where I want to plant probably tomorrow morning. Had to go to work tonight.
 

GreginND

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Yes, you can just dig the holes. I would recommend you get a gas powered auger to dig the holes. It makes quick work of it and you can dig them deep to loosen the soil. That way it will encourage your roots to go deep.


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randomhero

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Ooh good idea. I'll ask around to see if I know anyone with one. Thanks!
 

PCharles

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Though I don't have any vines myself, I do know several vineyard owners. This thread brought to mind a comments from one of the vineyard owners that I thought might be of value here. Here's the gist of it.

We were picking grapes from some four year old vines. This was the first year that the grapes were picked for wine making. He stated that they were the first vines that they had planted following their takeover of the vineyard. He discussed the difference between vines planted shallower and those planted deeper, using a hole digger. The girth of the vines planted deeper where about twice as thick as the shallow ones. Grape output was better as well.

Good luck with your new vineyard!
 

randomhero

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Well that's good to know. I called our local do it center today and they have both an auger and a larger rototiller. I'm going to rent the rototiller to chop of the ground where my rows will be.

Then in the spring I will rent an auger to dig the holes out. I am going to wait until I get my soil tests back to rent anything, so if I have to add anything I can do that when I till the area.
 

randomhero

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Does anyone have a good resources to read on growing? Just so I can read more about it.
 

RedSun

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If you have not done so, talk or visit some of the local vineyard owners to see what they grow and how they grow. This is much better than searching for tips online. The folks in WA and CA are doing totally different things.

The very first decision you need to make is the type and variety of the vines you want to grow. It takes a long time to get vines established. No time to make mistakes.

Then the next thing to do is to get up the actual vineyard, layout, irrigation and the most important, set up the trellis system. Without trellis, you do not know how to train your vines.
 

Sage

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I used a 3 point post hole digger attachment on a tractor. The owner had a 12" auger and I went 3' deep. I backfilled with good loose dirt which allowed easy root growth. My soil is heavy clay with various sized rocks mixed in. On one end, the fairly solid rock was near the surface and I used an excavator to dig there and also for fence posts on that end.

Not sure about what you have to deal with, But I put a 6' fence around the vineyard to keep varmints out. The fence went in before I planted.
 
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