Spring Planting

It’s official!  Our first new vines are in the ground.

Last week we planted 64 dormant Petit Manseng vines grafted onto 101.14 rootstock.  The rest of the vineyard won’t go in until next Spring, but we wanted to get a small section going this year.  Fingers crossed that we see signs of life soon!

Here’s a diagram from the University of Minnesota Extension Office of a typical grape plant:

European varieties have been grafted to American rootstock as a standard practice ever since The Great French Wine Blight in the mid-1800’s.  The American rootstocks are more resistant to Phylloxera, a small aphid that feeds on the vines’ roots.

Our vines don’t have any branches yet, just a tiny piece of the scion above the graft union.  In order to make sure the roots have room to grow in our hard-packed clay soil, we dug a wide trench with a backhoe and filled it back in with a mixture of rotovated clay and leaf mold.

Then we covered them with cardboard orange juice cartons to shield them from animals, wind, and sun.  We also seeded a permanent cover crop in between the rows to improve the soil and general appearance.  Next step.. Trellising!

-Rachel

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2 Responses to “Spring Planting”

  1. micah Says:

    looks great! good luck!

  2. MarySMoore Says:

    It’s so exciting to follow your vineyard from the rootstock to the first bottle… You have to post pictures as they take off & you trellis them – I love watching your dream take shape!

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