planting grapes Archives

Replanting A Grape Vine

Replanting A Grape Vine – Can It Be Done Successfully?

Because so many grape growers ask me about replanting a grape vine, I though it would be a good idea to write this article as part of the “New To Growing Grapes” series of posts on my blog. 

The reason why so many new grape growers are replanting a grape vine these days are poor planning, incorrect soil preparation and choosing the incorrect site or spot to plant their grape vines in the first place.  Choosing the correct site location for your vineyard, is one of the most important choices you as a new grape grower have to make as this will be the future home for your grape vines in years to come.

Let’s get something straight; replanting a grape vine is not ideal, especially if it is older than two years.  Therefore you need to do proper planning before you establish your vineyard.

So, your grape vines were not planted in the right spot or you are moving to another house and wants to take your grape vine with you – now what?

Replanting a grape vine pose some risk!

There is no doubt about that, but it can be done if you follow the instructions I am going to give to you now.  Do not deviate from this too much as you could loose your grape vine.

The first problem with replanting a grape vine (2 years and older)

The root system and structure of the vine gets bigger each year and makes the removal of the vine much harder.  When replanting these grape vines, you will eventually damage some roots, as it is impossible to take them out of the soil intact.  Damaging the roots of the vines will result in the lost of moisture through the wounds and could result in the roots drying out too much and die.  When taking the vines out of the soil, make sure you dig up as many of the roots as possible – the more roots you can save, the more successfully you will replant your grape vines.

The second problem with replanting a grape vine

The loss of water through the leaves (evaporation).  After replanting the grape vine, the roots of the vines are in a state of shock and for a week or two will not be able to take up water from the soil.  If the climate is hot, the grape vine will loose water through the leaves which will result in too little water in the vine and the leaves will start to wither.

You therefore need to minimize the apical growth in order to ensure there is enough available water in the vine itself by reducing the number of shoots to a maximum of three.  I would recommend you prune back hard and leave only one strong cane from the base of the lowest cordon.  You can develop the new structure of the vine from there.  Rather loose one or two year’s growth and have healthy vine, than trying to retain the old structure and have a dead vine!.

The third problem with replanting a grape vine

Because you have a much bigger root system than a normal rooted cutting, you will have to make a much bigger planting hole.  Make the planting hole large enough to accommodate ALL the roots and do not prune back any roots to fit the planting hole – rather make the hole larger.

It is important that you understand, that when replanting a grape vine, these vines needs allot of water the first few weeks (as explained before).  After removing the vine from it’s old position, place the roots of the vines in a bucket of water for at least six hours, prior to planting it in the new location.  This will ensure the roots stay moist and the vine will not loose any water through the wounds on the roots.

Do not put any fertilizer in the planting hole when replanting a grape vine, it will damage the roots.

I have successfully done replanting a grape vine this way, and there should’t be any reason you cannot do it yourself, but it is always better to avoid replanting a mature vine.

I hope this gave you more insight on replanting a grape vine – remember, the key to successfully replanting a grape vine is:

  • Keep as many of the roots as possible,
  • Minimize apical growth for at least a month
  • Make a large enough planting hole
  • Keep the vine well watered.

Good luck with replanting a grape vine!

Danie

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Planting a grape vine

You have prepared your site; you have decided what variety to grow; now it is time to plant your grape vine! Well, unfortunately, this is where many home grape growers terribly fail!

Planting a grape vine is not hard, if fact, it is one of the easiest fruits to get started, but there are a few key things to remember when planting your grape vine.

1. The planting hole

In the early days, before research proofed this method wrong, planting grape vines, by adding fertilizer and all kinds of stuff into the planting hole, was a well-known practice? Research showed, that a grape vine sprouts from energy within the vine itself, and do not actually use any fertilizer until the vine reach about 2 to 3 inch shoot length. By adding fertilizer directly into the planting hole, or directly on the roots of the vines could damage (scourge) the roots.

With knowledge/information you gained from soil samples, you should fertilize and correct all mineral shortages BEFORE you prepare your vineyard site and then plant your grape vine. This will mix all the fertilizer with the soil and will not damage the roots of your grape vine.

Make a large enough hole to accommodate all the roots from the cutting and do not cut or remove any roots – the more roots, the better the chance of successfully planting your grape vine.

2. Preparing the new vine before planting

Before planting your grape vine, you should plunge the complete vine into a bucket of water for at least six hours. Under no circumstances, let the roots of the vine dry out – this is very important! If you are planting a few hundred vines, cover the vines not planted yet with a damp gunny bag or something similar.

3. Watering the vine

Before you plant the grape vine, you should thoroughly water the planting hole and ensure that the water deeply penetrates the sidewall of the planting hole.

Constantly add water to the planting hole while filling the hole with soil, to ensure that no air pockets forms near the roots of the vines. Water your grape vine once a week for at least a month after planting the grape vine.

Following these simple rules when planting a grape vine, will guarantee a much higher success rate.