1) Receiving – If your vines are box shipped, remove them from the container upon receiving them and place them in a reduced light exposure and then water them. Do not expose the newly unpacked vines to freezing, direct sunlight, or high heat conditions.
2) Planting Preparation – Remove existing weed and grasses from the planting line by using a herbicide (Roundup only) – **observe waiting period** or by burn off. Raise the minimum fertility of the area by applying a general purpose balanced fertilizer at a rate of .5lb N per 1000 square feet. Adjust the pH to 6.2 using pelletized agricultural lime to raise it or flaked agricultural sulfur to lower it. If you have equipment available, plow or till the planting line and the general area mixing the soil amendments. It is desirable to turn the soil to a depth of 18-24” if possible.
3) Line Out – Determine the desired spacing for your vines, then mark the centers with marking flags. Dig planting holes approximately two times the size of the container and place excavated soil next to the planting hole.
4) Planting – Mix about 2 oz. of a non-ammonium sulfate based fertilizer such as Vitis-Max and one heaping shovel load of a suitable planting mix. (Terra Vitis grape planting mix, peat moss, landscape grower’s mix, etc.) 50/50 with the native soil you have piled next to the hole. Place a small amount of the prepared mix into the bottom of the hole. Remove the vine from the pot. Set the crown of the new vine 1” above the top of the hole and backfill the planting hole. Use the remainder of the soil to construct a water ring 3” high an d18” in diameter. The ring will serve to hold rainfall, irrigation water or tank water at the planting site for the establishment period. The ring may be removed at the end of the first growing season. Water in heavily after planting!!
5) Early Training – If you have trellising installed at the time of planting, you may use small diameter bamboo leader stakes to tie the new fine into and upward growth pattern. A permanent supportive stake is recommended for each vine. If your budges allows, install them at planting and tie to these. Use ties designed for this purpose only, vine tape or hemp string (do not use metal twist ties). If you are in an area that has a high imported Fire Ant population, we do not recommend the use of grow tubes, otherwise install the grow tube at the time the new vine is tied.
6) Pest and Disease Control – Newly planted vines do not require a production format spray schedule. The early growth period threats are primarily Foliar Fungal Disease, Sharpshooters, Spider Mites and various cutting pests (grasshoppers, caterpillars, etc.). Apply Dithane/Rally for foliar disease control in May, June and again in late July. Make foliar application of liquid Seven in May and June to control cutting insects. If you have a means to inject control materials into the irrigation water, we recommend the immediate use of Admire (or an alternate generic Imidacloprid) into the water for the vines. If you do not have a means to inject, and alternative control is foliar application of Venom.
7) Weed Control – Do not allow the new vines to become overrun with weeds. Weeds harbor many pests, including Shooters. If you are in the Pierces Red or Yellow Zone, we recommend clean cultivation (no cover crop) and the maintenance of weed free zone at least 150ft in all directions from the line-out rows.