Sunday, March 27, 2011

Planting Traminette

The traminette vines arrived from Double A Vineyards this week. The vines are grafted onto 101-14 rootstock. This rootstock is a good choice for the clay soil in this area.

This weekend I worked on getting the vines planted. The traminette vines are replacing the syrah vines we had previously planted. Half of the syrah vines didn't make it through last winter, and it just didn't seem to be the best varietal for this area. The first step was to cut all the wires in the row where the Syrah vines were, and remove the drip irrigation hose. Next I dug up all the Syrah vines, saving one for a friend who was interested in trying to transplant it. I rented a tiller and tilled up the soil in the row. It is amazing how many rocks I found. I poured some hydrated lime into the soil to raise the pH and some lava sand to help break up the clay. I then used the tiller to mix all the soil again with the additions. The tiller didn't go all the way down to the root level, but at least the soil above it will allow water and nutrients through a little better.

While I prepared the soil, the vines were placed in a bucket of water for a few hours to hydrate them. I dug holes down to the appropriate depth, with some help from my wife. We then placed the vines into the holes, spreading the roots out as much as possible, and then introduced a teaspoon of Root Maximizer Mycorrhizal fungi around the roots, before filling in the holes with a combination of the dirt from the hole and the surrounding area with the mixture of lava sand in it.

Lastly, I watered each vine with enough water to settle the earth around it. It is supposed to rain over the next few days, so they should get plenty of water to help sustain their first year of growth.