100 yr old grapevine Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by BlueGold2, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    Location:
    South Carolina, USA
    I don’t know the origin of this grapevine, but the property owners say it has been in the family for several generations.

    Vine is 7.5 inches at the base. There are three branches and each is approx. 2.5 inches in diameter. I cut the vine so each branch is about 24 inches long from the ground. I transplanted this (all of the roots too) in soil that is a mix of good earth and clay. The move from original soil to the new site was less than one hour. I put a light mix
    Of plant food in water that filled the hole and poured six gallons of water on the plant after it was seated
    In new soil.

    Question: May I ask for advice about how to insure the survival of this plant? The harvest off this vine
    Has been exceptional every year with rich purple concord grapes the size of plums. Hundreds of pounds
    Of fruit has been produced each season. The property was purchased for real estate development and the
    Vine was pushed to one side in a mound of dirt…from where I rescued it. I believe it is very old. I have
    Never seen heavy bark on a grapevine like this before and my experience with grapevines has never
    Included one the size of this one. If it survives transplantation, is it possible to get more plants from this one? I suspect the fruit may prove exceptional for wine production.

    Any feedback is welcome. Thank you!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you are saying you replanted it in an amended planting hole that may produce some watering problems. Other than that it sounds like there is every reason to expect it to make it - as long as you did get enough root and the new site is suitably well-drained and sunny.

    Planting in small holes given a different texture than surrounding soil through amending of the backfill is undesirable because the amendments create a different soil texture that may adversely affect how water moves into and out of the amended planting hole. Monitor watering of your transplant carefully for the first year. After it roots out of the planting hole and into the unmodified soil around the planting hole it will not be so subject to conditions within the hole - unless something was done to cause water to be collecting around the crown of the grape during winter.
     
  3. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    Thanks! I think I may need to dig aroung the plant a few more feet and change out the clay mix with a more friable soil mix that would permit the water to 'move' as you describe. I am very hopeful this plant will thrive now with care that has been absent for several years at its former home. I've two acres and this plant is in the most direct sunlit part of the property. I have two other variety of grapes but only for one season now and no fruit from them yet. Also we grow muscadine. I will plant two fig trees at the far edge of the property before next fall. Within three years I hope to have sufficient fruit crops to set up a small seasonal business.

    Thanks for your advice! I am so glad to have discovered this fine website so quickly at a time of high need.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you are now going to bother with changing the plant's situation arrange to have it end up with the same soil around it throughout the entire potential rooting area, from the crown out. Either excavate and replace the existing soil with a better soil (real soil and not a planting mix consisting primarily of organic material that will decompose and subside dramatically over time) or replace the modified backfill with the same existing soil that is around the planting hole. It is particularly undesirable to backfill a planting hole dug out of a fine-textured heavy soil with a coarser-textured material (planting mix or liberally amended existing soil) as this is liable to produce a sump-like condition that may be severe enough to suffocate the roots during times when moisture is abundant.

    The easiest and most reliable method for planting trees and shrubs is to backfill with the same soil that came out of the hole, mulching the surface afterward. If the soil already on the site is unsuitable for the kind of plant chosen a small amended planting hole will not be adequate to overcome this.
     
  5. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    I agree that I am ignorant, but I am sincere and reasonably careful and most importantly... I have access to a specialist I can trust. I want to do this right so as to avoid undue damage beyond the transplant itself. This vine is worthy of the best treatment. I have a sense that it is a very GOOD vine. I will want to use it as donor to other plants. The instructions you have generously provided are well stated and I will follow them exactly. Thank you for inviting me to view your postings.

    Southern george-
     
  6. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    Do you have photos of the fruit and do you know the name of the variety.

    Cheers
     
  7. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    I am sorry, but I don't have a picture of the extraordinary grapes we have enjoyed from this vine. However, soon as it bears again, I can post them on this site along with idenfication of the variety of grape.

    They are large (plum size) deep purple grapes. The flavor is so wonderful everyone wants more when we can part with one for them to sample. This is why I want to make more plants from this vine. I am very anxious about it until I see leaves emerge again after this transplant.
     
  8. northerngrapes

    northerngrapes Active Member

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    If you are able to take some cuttings it would be great. You can propagate your vine that way. It sounds like an interesting grape.
     
  9. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    Thank you! I hope I can extend the plant to several plantings.
     
  10. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    With your location and the large grape size it's possible you have a variety of Muscadine grape. Have a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscadine

    They are difficult to grow from cuttings, but can be more easily started by layering, or trench layering. During the growing season bend a length of new shoot to the ground and bury it 3-4" deep in a trench, leaving the growing tip exposed. Shoots should develop and root along the length of the buried portion and can be cut free and potted or planted out during the dormant season.

    Ralph
     
  11. BlueGold2

    BlueGold2 Member

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    Thanks!
     

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