winter care for young vines

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mmanto

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i am in NJ.. have young Foche vines, i have alot leaves in backyard, should I cover my young vines lower trunks and roots with leaves to protect them from cold weather ?
 

jgmillr1

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You should take a look at the grape growing forum on this site for specific questions you have on viticulture.

I assume your Foch vines are own-rooted (ie. not grafted) so you shouldn't have to be concerned with them over winter. If they are grafted, you'd want to cover the graft union the first winter and unbury it in the spring. My Foch vines in Indiana survived just fine their first winter where it hit -10F.

They do want to have the area under them free from grass as they are getting established. Some of mine have been slower to take off bc I didn't reduce the competition like I should have.
 

salcoco

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there is a risk of rodents overwintering in leaves and gnawing on grapes
 

mmanto

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thank you.. I will remove the leaves.
On another subject, these vines failed to produce any fruit this season, as the leaf and vine growth was very healthy.
Any suggestions on a process to maintain this winter / spring to accelerate fruit growth?
 

salcoco

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it take 3-5 years before maximum fruit production. I suggest fertilizing with a 10-10-10 fertilizer at bud break and when harvest is complete in fall. remove shoots in spring as soon as possible. set up a good trellis. be prepared to net the fruit once they start to come on , the berries are just right for the birds.
 

mmanto

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Thanks.. the issue is there are No Buds at all in last 3 years!!...help !
 

salcoco

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wow hard to believe. have you had a soil test done to see what nutrients you may be short. Foch normally puts on a large number of buds
 

mmanto

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what results should a healthy soil test support?
What can i do now and once it gets warmer to help improve the soil? Thx
 

Dennis Griffith

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I would recommend testing the leaves/petioles to see what your vines are lacking. Soil testing is great prior to planting and should be done, but once the vine is growing, let the vine tell you what it needs. As for amending the soil, the testing facility can help. I don't recommend using a general purpose fertilizer as it will not address your needs totally and maybe over dose your vine in some areas. There are products you can probably buy at a local nursery or hardware store that will cover most of your requirements. I mix my own based on the test results from the previous year, then amend around the same time I prune (or prior to bud break). Grape vines are hungry little devils, so it's an ongoing process. If you have a small operation, it doesn't have to be a big endeavor to do this. The testing folks I use run about $12 a test, which is all you need for a small amount of vines. Just remember to take a couple of leaves/petioles from each vine so that you can sample across all of them. Supplements can be bought in small (usually 4 or 5 lbs) quantities and the prices are not terrible.
 

salcoco

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the soil test will identify the present condition of the soil. ph, nutrients etc. it will then identify what nutrients or chemical compounds should be added to grow grapes. Your County Extension office will do the soil test for free or nominal fee.
more thought on buds, you should be having leaf emergence. at the point of leaf emergence the spur will lengthen and the grape cluster will form
 

bshef

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Thanks.. the issue is there are No Buds at all in last 3 years!!...help !
Where did you get the vines? Are they self rooted or grafted? When you say buds, do you mean flower clusters (look like tiny grape clusters)? Even though I picked off the flower clusters about four of my first year Foch hid tiny grape clusters down in the grow tubes. Marechal Foch is a hardy variety but early bud break may mean that the clusters are killed by frost, though they should have a small secondary crop. How are you pruning the vines and maybe most importantly, when are you pruning? If you are pruning too early that will encourage earlier bud break and cluster freeze.
 

mmanto

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Im new to all this as i replanted the Foch 3 years ago from a healthy local vinyard as i start pruing once the vines start growing... May time frame. Maybe its my soil?
 

bshef

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The lack of fruit may be the result of improper and late pruning. You need to read up on pruning and care of grapevines. Another possibility is that the vines were grafted and you planted the grafts under the soil and now are growing non-fruiting rootstock. Anyway you must research basic grapevine cultivation. There are tons of articles and books on growing grapes. This forum is limited as far as helping you if you don’t have basic knowledge. Good luck. Hope you can study and have a productive year in 2020.
 

salcoco

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the agency that you submit your soil sample will tell you what nutrients need to be added to the soil for grape growing. fruit emergence is were the leaf start growing from.

Have you discussed your problem with the vineyard that sourced your grapes? they can tell you first hand what is causing your problem. @bshef may have identified your problem.
 

mmanto

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Morning..i work on the original vineyard farm as these vines were producing fruit before we replanted on my property.
Should i prune the dormant vines now i have on long high trellises ??
 

mmanto

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Hello.. see attached as my Foche vines look healthy but Im still concerned with the lack of fruit produced last year (no fruit). I am process of getting soil analyzed but this will be delayed due to current events. Any fertilizer or additives you can suggest ?
 

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