Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

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Many gardeners are sure that growing grapes is a rather difficult occupation available to the “chosen ones”. We continue to refute this fundamentally wrong opinion. In the article “Smart Vineyard: Rooting without Problems” we learned how to get an excellent annual seedling from cut cuttings in one season. In this article, we will talk about how to plant this seedling correctly so that in the next 7-8 years you will not have problems with the power of the bush and its formation. This time we will figure out what catarovka is, how to properly maintain the soil in the vineyard and which plants can and which cannot be planted next to the vine.

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

So, your cuttings are rooted and feel great. In the fall, these annual seedlings can be planted in a permanent place, and this must be done in such a way that it would be necessary to water and feed the vine only two or three times per summer. Experienced growers believe that a sustainable and strong vineyard can only be created by organizing specially designed planting pits or trenches, equipped with deep irrigation and good drainage. How to do it right?

Landing across Karasev

This method has been tested by many years of experience and ensures good development of the bush with any method of formation. It is important to observe two basic rules here, which are that, firstly, the roots should not be buried more than 40 centimeters – this will contribute to timely heating and will not slow down the growth of the bush. Secondly, the roots must have a large supply of moisture, which can only be achieved at great depths. This seemingly contradiction can be avoided if the landing pits are properly arranged..

The depth of such a pit should be 70 cm, width – 40 cm, length – 80 cm, it should be stretched from south to north. The dug earth is folded into a certain place, where it mixes with sand and humus (sand – one bucket, humus – two). Then we do drainage: we pour an ash shovel at the bottom of the pit, on top of which a layer of gravel, crushed stone or expanded clay 10 cm thick is laid (this will be about 3.5 buckets).

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

On the south side of the pit, a piece of pipe with a diameter of 10-15 cm is stuck into the gravel – any (plastic, asbestos-cement) will do. The length of the pipe should be such that it is 7-10 cm above the soil surface. After that, various sticks and planks are laid on the gravel so that our drainage does not float with earth from the very beginning.

Next, fill the hole with a layer of soil mixed with sand and humus 20 cm high, and 10-15 cm north of the pipe we make a small mound, put a seedling on it, straightening the roots well, and fill the hole with earth completely. When planting, the seedling must be tilted from the pipe to the center of the pit – this will provide it with good warming up. When planting, the two lower buds are necessarily buried in the ground, one or two are left on the surface, depending on the expected formation of the future vine. We will talk in more detail about the methods of formation in the following articles..

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

A bush planted in this way does not need to be fertilized in the first year, it is only necessary to water it, for which every week until mid-summer we pour 1-2 buckets of water into the pipe, depending on the weather conditions. It is easy to water through the pipe, the water does not evaporate, and its consumption is much less. The next year, in the same way, you can deliver organic fertilizers and various other dressings to the roots..

The pipe must be covered from above with a brick or a tin can, this will save it from clogging and getting inside any living creatures, for example, frogs or toads. In subsequent years, it is necessary to water and “feed” the planted bush in this way according to the usual scheme, which we will consider in more detail in the following articles.

The Galkins’ trenches

The organization of special trenches, 70 cm deep, 30-40 cm wide, can be arbitrary, to enlarge the formation, strengthen the bushes and increase the amount of the crop. Drainage (crushed stone, expanded clay, gravel) 10 cm thick is also poured into the bottom of the trench, and pipes are installed every four meters. To prevent the drainage from swimming, slate or planks are laid on top of it, on top of this whole “structure” is filled with earth mixed with sand and humus at the rate of 4: 2: 1 (earth, humus, sand, respectively).

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

The grape bushes are planted in ordinary pits on both sides of the trench at a distance of a meter and a half. The effect in this case is even better, since the trench is a huge container with an improved environment common to all roots. The roots of young seedlings very quickly find their way into the trench and develop well there, which contributes to an increase in the power of the bush, which means that the amount of harvest also increases.

Watering such a vineyard is easy – I put a hose into a pipe, and water flows all night, the number of irrigations required for the whole summer is from 2 to 4, depending on the weather.

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

It should be noted that if you have loose fertile soils on the site, then drainage is not necessary, you can fill pits or trenches with well-ripened humus.

What is catarovka and what is it for (or not needed)

Catarovka should be understood to mean the removal of the superficial (dew) roots of the vine, which are collectors of dew. Let’s figure out whether it is necessary to carry out catarovka in your vineyard, find out its pros and cons.

Experienced growers remove superficial roots for the following reasons:

  • phylloxera often clings to them;
  • they are always damaged by drought;
  • if at the end of summer after dry weather the air humidity rises sharply, the superficial roots quickly collect moisture, which leads to significant cracking of the berries.

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

However, experts believe that carrying out catarovka is not always beneficial for grapes:

  1. Firstly, the removal of dew roots is always wounds and stress for the plant; after cutting off the surface roots, some shoots can droop right before our eyes, since they were fed precisely from them. In addition, if the weather is damp, cool, carrying out catarovka can contribute to the development of such a dangerous disease as grape cancer. We will talk in more detail about grape medicine in the following articles..
  2. Secondly, in areas with heavy compacted soils, the surface roots of grapes are simply necessary, especially in places with a high level of groundwater. When the groundwater rises too high, the deep roots suffer from a lack of oxygen, and the vine survives precisely at the expense of the surface roots, which act as a buffer that balances the water surges in the soil..

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

And in order for the surface roots not to lose moisture in dry weather, the soil under the bushes must be mulched. Mulch conserves water well and helps to improve the soil structure and increase fertility. For more information, see the article “Organic farming: stop destroying the land by digging and weeding.” The mulched soil absorbs moisture from the air and contributes to its fallout in the form of dew, respectively, moisture surges are smoothed out, and dew roots do not suffer, in addition, with abundant precipitation, cracking of berries is not observed.

How to properly maintain the soil in the vineyard

From all of the above, some conclusions can be drawn about the soil content under the vines..

First of all, we organize “smart” pits or trenches to create an optimal irrigation and nutrition regime. Then we mulch the soil under the bushes with any organic materials at hand (straw, sawdust, husks, hay, cut grass). The aisles can be gassed or there are beds for growing various vegetables. We will talk about what can and cannot be planted near grapes a little later..

In any case, it is best to separate the lawn from the mulch with a curb made of anything (boards, bricks, slate). If this is not done, there will never be order in your vineyard – mulch will spill out into the aisles, and weeds will crawl under the vines.

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

If the weeds in the aisles are mowed twice a month, they will disappear very quickly, giving way to meadow grasses, which are not only not afraid of mowing, but even better after it grows, as a result of which you will have a wonderful lawn between the grapes.

If you decide to organize a vegetable bed in the aisles, it is also better to enclose it with a curb and raise it a little. For more information, see the article “Organic Farming: How to Establish Smart Beds”. However, not all vegetable crops can be grown next to the vine..

Useful and harmful neighbors of grapes

Allelopathy is the science of plants that studies how they affect each other as they grow together. We talked about this in the article “Organic farming: intensive planting”.

With regard to grapes, extensive scientific experiments on this topic began by the famous Austrian winegrower Lenz Moser in the forties of the last century. Even then, he noticed that different weeds affect the vine in different ways. For example, shepherd’s purse and wood lice help bushes to develop, and yarrow, tansy, wormwood weaken grapes. At first, Moser linked the oppression of the bushes with the fact that weeds take away moisture and nutrition from them, but then he noticed that even single weeds affect the state of the grapes very strongly. It was noticed that the bushes weakened by harmful neighbors froze out in winter along with the roots, while the vine overgrown with a shepherd’s bag, legumes or cereals tolerated the cold normally.

The same can be said about growing various vegetables next to grapes. For example, where soybeans grew, the shoots stretched up to 1.2 meters in length, and the freezing out was no more than 3%, and if potatoes were planted next to the grapes, the length of the shoots was no more than half a meter, and up to 22% of the bushes were frozen. Thus, Moser conducted a large number of experiments and tested 174 cultivated and wild plants. The conclusion became obvious – some crops stimulate the growth of grapes and increase its resistance to cold and disease, while others, on the contrary, oppress the grapevine. It should also be noted that bushes growing on clean soil were not always more developed than those under which plants useful for grapes grew..

Smart vineyard: how to plant grapes correctly

The useful plants most often grown in gardens include: dill, cucumber, sorrel, peas, onions, radishes, cabbage of any varieties, beetroot, strawberries, melon. Of the flowers, the most useful for grapes are asters, forget-me-nots, phloxes, primrose.

Plants such as parsley, eggplant, peppers of various varieties, potatoes, sunflowers, tomatoes, various types of lettuce, corn, from flowers – clematis, marigolds (calendula), cornflower, field bindweed should not be planted near grapes.

When organizing a vineyard, you should pay special attention to this and plant next to grapes only those crops that will contribute to its better growth and development..

So, we now know how to choose the most suitable variety or root the cutting of the vine we like by cutting it off at the neighbor’s country house. We figured out how to plant a young bush correctly in order to provide it with nutrition and moisture for a long time. We can now choose the method of keeping the soil under the bushes, and we know which plants should not be and which should be planted next to the vine. It should be noted that when planting grapes, it is absolutely not necessary to organize a specially designated area for this, you can simply put the bush on the gazebo in the yard – but these are already questions concerning the formation itself. In the next article, we will take a closer look at this procedure, the most difficult for most gardeners. To be continued…

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