How To Proceed With Grape Planting
Grape planting is actually very ambiguous, and if you are looking to grow grapes as a business, quite costly. Before you can even plant grape vines you will need to prep the site and this should be done a year before.
With many crops the fields and area are treated with nitrogen and other nutrients to get it in the best possible shape. Many times soil quality will be poor so you need to prepare it in advance. It is very rare that the soil is fine. This step is not necessary but your grapes will benefit from it, particularly if you have poor soil.
Before you do any grape planting you will have to install trellis stake, and the most basic parts of a trellis system. This includes stress bearing support at the ends of each row, support post and the bottom wire. Additional trellis wires and catch wires can be added once your grapes vines have grown. Most stress post will actually be anchored into the ground using cement underneath the soil and the digging may require some heavy machinery. You also may need to install some draining though this will depend on your soil.
When planting grapes you will need to space the rows and plants accordingly. Many reasons that are included in this decision include the desired trellis system, weather, exposure, and if you are using machines for labor or doing everything by hand. It is a smart move to create the row widths at least wide enough so a small sprayer can get by. Machine harvested grapes will require larger row widths, as the machine will need to be able to pass through and over the vines. To maximize sun exposure most vines will be on a trellis that is aligned north to south.
Another factor that will influence your design is if you plan on doing all of the work by hand or if you want to use machines.
Wider rows are needed for machine harvesting and hedging, the machines need to be able to pass through the rows. If you are planning on doing everything by hand then your rows will only need to be wide enough for a little sprayer, or you can even use a manual sprayer for smaller row widths.
Once you have planted grapes then your focus should be on establishing the vines and getting them to grow. It takes two years for grapes to be get grapes though you will probably not have any usable fruit until the third year. It is important to remember this when looking at cost, as you will not actually have a product to sell until the third year.
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