Growing Grapes – Jaques’ vineyard

Hi grape growing friends.

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog, because I took a short break after the harvest season.  Well, I’m back with some new posts and some new tips on growing grapes.

Those of you who have followed my blog posts since last year, will remember that I uploaded some pictures of Jacques’ grape vines in 2009.  With the help of the Complete Grape Growing System, Jacques established a beautiful wineyard in his backyard – one he can be proud of.

A week or two ago, he send me some more pictures of what the vines look like this year.  The vines are still young, but you can see the amazing results he got.  Here are some of the pictures from last year and this year.

Compare the pictures to one another and see what can be done!

At the end of the post, I will give you and Jacques some tips on what to do next.  Enjoy …

2009 Pictures

2010 Pictures

Jacques’ email to me:

Hi Danie, I wanted to send you some pictures of this year’s vines. Last year you posted my vineyard on your blog and said some very nice things about it, but there were no grapes on the vines. You did say that the grapes will come next year and you were right again. This year’s vines look nothing like last year’s vines. The season is young and the heat and rain is yet to come but for now in South East Louisiana my vines look great. I can’t wait for harvest but for now I’ll work it into the summer and look forward to the fall harvest.

Your Friend


The Grapes!

Jacques, first of all, I must congratulate you on a job well done – the vines look great!

Now for some tips on what to do next:

  1. Remember what I teach in the Complete Grape Growing System; although the vines are well developed, they are still young and cannot ripen a full crop yet.  Limit the number of bunches to not more thean 10 – 12 per vine.  Your vines will develop the cordon (arms) this year and need enough energy to that.  The bunches hanging against each other are the first ones you want to remove to ensure proper ripening.
  2. Prune the canopy on the sides, where the shoots hang down, so there will be proper airflow into the vine.  Those that are half way to the ground, can be pruned 8 to 9 inches from the canopy wires.
  3. I see you did remove some leaves – great job, just remember that new ones will develop, so keep doing it.
  4. Lastly, keep your spray program up to date, as you mentioned that the raining season is on it’s way.  Downy milldew and powdery milldew is now your greatest enemy – watch out for these diseases.

Once again, great job Jacques.

For those of you have similar pictures, I will be more than glad to post them as well.

Take care and talk to you soon.

Danie – “The Grape Guy”

To get the same results as Jacques did, you need to do it right!

Let me take you by the hand and walk with you every step of the way.

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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!


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