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Zintrigue

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Good evening, folks. I know you're a knowledgeable lot, so I thought I'd pick your brains for the information I'm having a hard time finding solid answers to on Google.

First of all, I don't have the space for a vineyard, I only want two plants to supplement ("tweek") my kits. I'm in the foothills here, zone 9a, and I'll be purchasing from this site: https://www.groworganic.com/berries-vines/grape-vines.html

Soil question: my soil is quite infertile, red clay. My thoughts are to amend it with plain sand - is this correct?

Watering: I would have it on the drip system with a 5gal an hour drip, probably turned on once or twice per day. Summer temps get over 100 here. Is this sufficient for most grape varieties?

Pests and diseases: And here's the big one. The oak trees around my home rain down bacterial leaf spot on my garden (canyon live oak - year long shedding). Usually for my peppers and tomatoes it takes all summer before the bacteria spreads to the fruit. This site here: https://learn.winecoolerdirect.com/common-grapevine-diseases/ doesn't list bacterial leaf spot as a pest of grapes, which surprises me. Did this list miss out or am I home free on that one?

Powdery mildew plagues my zucchini and pumpkins by the time fall rolls around. I'm assuming it'll eat my grapes alive, too. Will the fungus go away with the leaves in the winter, or is the plant a goner once it contracts powdery mildew? What is the recommended chemical control method?

Aphids: Holy hell, I can't do anything to stop these guys. They're like garden herpes, there's no way to get rid of them and they spread like mad. Do they like to pester grape plants? If so, what control methods have you fine people found? I've tried sprays, soaps, homemade methods, and predator bugs; the aphids live on in thriving, writhing green colonies.

All I can think of for now. I'd really appreciate advice from other people in my area. Thank you!

-Zintrigue
 

balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
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Badacsony wine region. Hungary
Soil question: my soil is quite infertile, red clay. My thoughts are to amend it with plain sand - is this correct?
Adding sand does not address fertility. That is a soil amendment mostly added to deal with drainage and root penetration issues. And if you have these issues, be prepared to dig a 6 foot deep by 3 foot wide trench to amend (about the expected extend of vine roots).

Vines like well drained soils, but they can do quite well in clay soils as well, as long at the soil is a clay-loam or clay-limestone soil that is deep enough to allow drainage.

See this for basic info on soil types for vines: http://winefolly.com/review/introduction-soil-types-wine/

If you need to enhance soil fertility (i.e. organic matter), then you need to consider applying a compost or similar fertilizer.


Pests and diseases
:
In California, the go-to place for pest and disease management info is the UC David extension:

https://extension.ucdavis.edu/areas-study/winemaking
 
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Zintrigue

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
242
Reaction score
93
Location
California
Adding sand does not address fertility. That is a soil amendment mostly added to deal with drainage and root penetration issues. And if you have these issues, be prepared to dig a 6 foot deep by 3 foot wide trench to amend (about the expected extend of vine roots).

Vines like well drained soils, but they can do quite well in clay soils as well, as long at the soil is a clay-loam or clay-limestone soil that is deep enough to allow drainage.

See this for basic info on soil types for vines: http://winefolly.com/review/introduction-soil-types-wine/

If you need to enhance soil fertility (i.e. organic matter), then you need to consider applying a compost or similar fertilizer.



In California, the go-to place for pest and disease management info is the UC David extension:

https://extension.ucdavis.edu/areas-study/winemaking
Perfect, thank you. Going for low fertility, as it's my understanding that low fertility soils produce the best wine grapes. Maybe I'll just let the clay be, as according to that article it produces my favorite types of wine.

The other link was mostly information on free courses or a certificate program of study. But I'll poke around some more. Thanks for the help.
 

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