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Old April 3rd, 2009, 11:08 AM
rhinevine rhinevine is offline
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Preparing a grape Planting Site

I have been add ing more grape vines on my property and was wondering if my approach to site prep.is OK. The vines that I'm planting are the Pinot Noir,Gerwertztraminer and Ortega types.
I've been digging down about two feet into the hard gravelly ground,putting down about 8 inches of limestone driveway chips then filling up the hole with black topsoil mixed with mushroom manure and some bonemeal.The holes are about two feet wide as well.
Regards,Dan in Nanaimo B.C.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 08:21 PM
Millet Millet is offline
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Re: Preparing a grape Planting Site

Normally, using a back hoe, I like to dig down about 4-feet. However, I would say that a hole two feet deep and 2 feet across would be adequate. I always back fill only with the dirt that was dug making the hole (no amendments). - Millet (1,397-)
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Old April 4th, 2009, 12:02 AM
rhinevine rhinevine is offline
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Re: Preparing a grape Planting Site

Hello Millet,
Don't have a backhoe only a shovel and strong back.I assume from the fact that you put the same earth back in the hole that the idea is only to loosen up the soil somewhat.Your available sunlight is probably also much greater than here so I figure building up the soil with fertilizer should give the vine a better start in this climate.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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silver_creek silver_creek is offline
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Re: Preparing a grape Planting Site

Too rich a soil will give you lots of vegetation and poor fruiting. Your gravelly soil with little organic matter is a better soil for good fruit production than a rich loam with lots of added compost. If you want soil to warm up quicker in spring, build a mound or raised row for your plants. Look here- http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublicatio...001/eb2001.pdf - for growing wine grapes in our climate.
Terry M.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Ron B Ron B is offline
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Re: Preparing a grape Planting Site

Planting trees and shrubs in pits of high organic content backfill often produces problems with movement of water into and out of the planting hole, and sinking of the tree or shrub below grade as the organic component of the backfill decomposes and leaches away.

Liberally amended planting pits may act as sumps during wet conditions, causing drowning of the plants. During dry conditions unamended original soil around holes may demonstrate a greater attraction for water than coarser amended backfill, resulting in chronic dryness around the plants. This difference in attraction of water is also why stock installed with intact coarse potting soil rootballs may seem to never get enough water during the establishment phase (and may even wilt and die, despite some attention to watering).

Choose locations that already suit the tree or shrub being planted or replace the soil with a suitable one. Provide a bed that is big enough to accomodate the root growth of the specimen for many years after planting. Bringing in suitable soil from outside, dumping that on top of the existing soil and planting in that, without blending the two together may be the easiest and cheapest approach for many situations.
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