Planting Grapevines (Extension Foundation)

Planting a new vineyard

The following questions are answered:

  • How do I plant a grape vine?
  • What is the best time of year to plant grapes?
  • When should I plant grape vines?
  • What kind of plant material should I buy?

Planting Method for Bare-Root Vines

  1. Be sure to keep vines moist right up to planting.
  2. Dig a small hole with a hand-held or tractor-mounted post digger about 6 inches in diameter, 4 inches to 6 inches deep. In soils with high clay content, glazing of the sides of the hole may occur, which can impede root growth. In this situation, break up the glazed areas using a shovel or equivalent tool.
  3. Immediately prior to planting, trim the roots to fit the hole and cut the top growth back to only two to three buds (above the graft union on grafted vines) on the strongest cane. Remove all other canes.
  4. Stand the plant in the hole and pack the same soil back into the hole around the plant. If you are using grafted vines, make sure the graft union is above the soil line by approximately 6 inches.
  5. Install a stake next to the vine to provide stability.
  6. Water the vine with two or three gallons of water immediately after planting.
  7. As new shoots begin to grow, watch for signs of pest damage that may inhibit vigorous growth.
  8. Do not allow weeds to grow near the vine row, and keep the young vines well watered. The amount and frequency of irrigation will vary depending on region and environmental conditions.

Green growing (potted) vines should be acclimated to seasonal weather conditions in a protected area for a few days prior to planting. Do not plant potted vines until after the risk of frost has passed in the spring. Be sure to remove the vine from pots before planting. If you are using grow tubes, install them after planting, lightly covering the base with soil to exclude herbicide sprays. Do not bury them too deep into the soil as root constriction may occur.

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