established vines - building an arbour

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by neema, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. neema

    neema Member

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    We have purchased a house with two established grape vines (I think they are Concord grapes) that produced huge quantities of grapes last summer. Because the vines had an ad-hoc support system we decided to build them a proper arbour to get them off the ground and make harvesting easier. We are also hoping to be able to use the space under the vines as a patio area.

    Question: do we run the risk of damaging the roots by laying some sort of paving surface (probably flagstone) under the vines - how far away from the trunks should we stay? Even if we left it as just grass, is the traffic on this area damaging to the roots?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Denman Island,BC
    As they say: "everything in moderation". Grapes, particularly isolated ones (as in not part of a vinyard) will spread roots an amazing distance. I've not seen a number, but from my own experience I've seen roots 50' from the vine.
    All roots need air, so compaction and covering is not a good thing, but as long as you don't completely surround the vines, if some roots are damaged or die, others will take up the slack. If you think of even a 25' circle of root area, a 10 x 10 patio is only covering about 20 percent. They are generally very robust plants.

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