Basic Tips for Planting a Vineyard
Dreaming of owning your own vineyard? You can buy an existing one or buy undeveloped land and build from the ground up. Today we’re going to address the issues of planting a new vineyard.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What will you plant on the site?
- Is the site cool or warm?
- What is the site’s aspect and exposure?
- What is the soil type and is it fertile? What about drainage?
- What variety of grapes will the future wine market be interested in?
Knowing the answer to these questions will makes it easy for you to start planning and preparing for planting. Some of the decisions you need to make will be in regard to factors like:
1. Soil: Make sure the soil where you want to plant is neutral. To increase pH, add
calcium and in effect reduce acidity. You could engage a soil expert to do soil analysis
and find the site’s best rootstock.
2. Spacing: Space small vines closely to get more harvests. Space out vines in areas
that are more vigorous. The important thing is to create space and balance between the
vine and the fruit. Today’s standard spacing is 8 feet between the rows and 5 feet
3. Row direction. If you are in an area where wind is not a cause of worry, keep the
vines in a north/south direction. The leaves become efficient since the broader side of
the vine faces east. In a slopey area, up and down direction will be perfect to control
Vineyard Soil Preparation
Regardless of whether you want to plant a vineyard in summer or winter, you must prepare the soil for the weather. Sub-soiling before winter allows the soil to be stable and resist the effects of rain and frost. During summer, you should sub-soil when the ground is hard and dry. Sub-soiling creates more space in the soil for aeration.
Vines are normally purchased as bare dormant root plants when they are about one year old. The plants can be planted at any time in the season but the best time is immediately after spring.
You should begin to plant vines when the soil is ready and the site is cleared. Use a surveyor tripod to mark the perimeter corners, draw lines with knots at the right spacing and use white powder to marks spots on the soil. Mark every row you create and place stakes where each vine shall be planted.
Get a team to work with you. One person should dig the hole, another place the vine seedling in place and another cover the vines with soil. Water all the plants well and place nursery cartons over the vines.