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Are These Grapes Going to Make It??  RSS feed

 
Posts: 10
Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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Hi Permies Folks -

We have several grape varieties (Reliance, Himrod, Mars, Catawba) and all were planted recently in a mix of clay-ish soil, mushroom compost, soil conditioner (the stuff in the white bag..Nature's Helper). I have not had the soil tested yet. They were planted in areas that were previously lawn.

Question 1: The photo is of a "bare root" himrod or mars from Lowes (dang $3 sale got me!!!). It was in a little baggy of soil and had a few leaves when I planted it two-three weeks ago. We have had a couple of frosts since then.
I am wondering if brown-leaves are normal this time of year or after planting / frosts. Do we need to make any sudden moves or should we wait it out?

Question 2: Three grapes (not pictured) were rather rootbound and sat in pots over winter (possibly not watered very well). These are the Reliance and Catawba. I was just wondering how resilient grapevines are. The roots have some green inside but the above-ground parts are pretty brittle and brown. Should we wait for leaves to sprout or start over with bare root grapes? Or something else?

(Interestingly, I have worked at a couple of wineries on the grape-crushing and wine drinking side of things, but have never tried to grow my own grapes for food. Being new to Appalachia, We are not sure what factors we should be considering, mitigating, etc.  We have done well with our other bare-root fruits, cuttings, etc...but are confused by these wacky grapes. As it is my family's favorite fruit, We need to figure this one out :)
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Newly Planted Grape Vine
 
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Hello Wes,

If the roots are alive, and any dormant buds on the lower stem or root crown are alive, they will most likely wait untill temperatures are safe, then make a slow last ditch effort to grow. Are the brown leaves dead and crispy, or is the brown more of a hair covering over the still developing healthy live tissue? It sounds to me that those grapes have been stressed to the max, and if they've been grafted, your fruiting stock may already be dead. Its been a while, so I'm uncertain which, if any of those varieties you named are grafted. The additional stress those vines have been exposed to, could have some lingering consequences if they survive, resulting in slower establishment.

My personal recommendation would be to get more of the grape varieties your after, and plant them. Also keep trying with the ones you started already. If the stressed ones make it and eventually fruit properly, then your good to go with ample grapes. If the stressed ones produce unusable fruit, it means they were a grafted variety, and only your rootstock survived; however, if you kept your varieties labeled. You can propagate rootstock to match with the new fruiting stock of your replacement grapes. Then you can graft your own grapes, if you want to expand your Vinyard, or give them away as gifts.
 
Wes Davis
Posts: 10
Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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The leaves feel more "leathery" than crispy. Upon closer inspection, there appear to be little soft nubbins growing out of the stems of three of them. These stems are green...yay! One appears to have a tiny set of leaves that are just about to come out. We have had excellent weather the last few days so, hopefully, that helps them de-stress.

I attached some photos. Considering that they were on the Lowe's sale rack three weeks ago, then planted in a newly dug lawn-hole, and then repeatedly frozen.... I am starting to think that they look pretty good :)

I didn't think about the rootstock sending up its own shoots. Interesting. Adding more grape vines in case the others don't make it is a great idea. I wouldn't mind having too many grapes.

Thank you, again!


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