Friday, February 25, 2011

Vineyard renovation

I'm getting ready to change out two rows of vines in my backyard vineyard.  The vines are set to arrive the week of March 21st.  I will be planting twelve each of Traminette (hybrid white) and Regent (hybrid red).  Both varietals are supposed to have a much higher disease resistance than typical vinifera.

This time I am going to make some soil amendments.  When I originally planted the existing vineyard, I didn't really know what I was doing.  I had a soil test done, but missed one important piece of information on the results.  The results had suggested to add lime to the soil to increase the pH level.  This go-around I'm going to add in some hydrated lime.  Additionally, I'm going to mix in some lava soil which is supposed to improve drainage in heavy clay soils.  I also plan on introducing some compost (probably mushroom compost) and plan on mixing it all into the existing soil before planting.  Lastly, I have some Root Maximizer Mycorrhizal fungi that I am going to sprinkle on/around the roots of the vines as I plant them.  The fungi is supposed to help the roots process nutrients in the soil around them more efficiently.  Cool stuff!

To make the soil preparation a lot easier, I'm going to rent a tiller/cultivator.  I was originally planning on purchasing one, but I can rent one that is more powerful than I could afford to purchase.  Considering the hard, rocky clay soil we have, the more power the better!
With my past plantings, I've used the Blue-X grow tubes.  This time, I'm moving to a different type of grow tube.  The problem with the Blue-X grow tubes is that you have to cut the outer sleeve to remove it.  If you want to use the inside piece again in the future, you have to buy a new sleeve.  The new type of grow tube I'm getting is called Snap-n-Grow.  They snap together, and come back apart in two pieces for easy removal and re-use.

Hopefully this time, with the disease resistant vines, the soil amendments, and other things I've learned over the past few years, the vineyard will be more vigorous.  And I'm very excited about the two hybrids I have selected.  I love Traminette, and I have read a lot about Regent as discussed in previous posts.

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