New Vineyard Timeline · 1-year Pre-plant
Future vineyard land needs to be prepared before ordering the vines. As a general rule, the more money and time invested in site preparation leads to fewer difficulties down the road and allows for easier applications of soil amendments and installation of irrigation systems. In many cases, a cover crop may need to be planted one to two years prior to planting for weed suppression, soil retention and build-up of organic matter.
Assess deer and other pest pressures at your selected site. Many animals love to munch on different parts of grapevines, so it is best to put a plan in place ahead of planting for managing vineyard pests. Will you need bird netting, deer fencing, or an electric fence?
Finally, installing weather equipment is another step in maintaining good records and monitoring vineyard conditions. Get it installed early to monitor vineyard temperatures and local precipitation.
Once the land is prepared, plan to order vines at least one year in advance. Some nurseries may require more time for certain rootstock/scion combinations, so contact the nursery at least one, preferably two, year(s) prior to planting.
After selection of a good site, proper site preparation is one of the most important factors in the ultimate success or failure of a vineyard. This is the time when changes can be made to the site to improve soil conditions, water handling, and the overall efficiency of managing the vineyard. Many experienced grape growers will say that investing the time and money in good site preparation will save both in the long run. This fact sheet describes some of the more... read more
Determine Training System
The main objective in grape production:Maximize sunlight interception.Figure 1. Concord Bud Development. Cluster initiation (arrows) in green shoots begins just after bloom, and by just before veraison, the buds reach stage 6 of 15. After the winter dormancy and bud break the following season, buds pick back up and finish developing via shoot emergence and growth by bloom, at which point the cycle begins anew.*Dates on x-axis are approximate for each season. Adapted from... read more
Assessment of Site Needs
Once a site has been selected, several important tasks must be completed to cover as many details as possible before vines actually go into the ground. This is one attempt to avoid any surprises after site preparation and vine planting and before any major resources are used.Contact planting contractorLaser planting? Auger and a tractor? Shovel and a strong back? Regardless of planting strategy, be prepared for the planting date. Whether you are hiring someone to plant, or... read more
Develop Record Keeping System
The key to being able to implement a successful vineyard management strategy on a yearly basis is record keeping. Whether it is keeping track of the costs of inputs, documenting yield each year or mapping pest outbreaks, the more information you have collected in an organized record keeping system the better management decisions you will be able to make.The biggest hurdle to implementing a record keeping system is often times getting into the habit of collecting the data in... read more
Weather Equipment for Vineyard Operation
Weather is one of the most important factors in grape production as well as being one of the most difficult to manipulate or control. While a vineyardist has little control over the weather, keeping tabs on some basic weather parameters such as temperature and precipitation can pay big dividends by allowing more informed decision making in the vineyard. Weather is an important factor from the initial site preparation to aiding in the decision of when to... read more
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