VINEYARD OVERVIEW

 

Vines add a peaceful beauty to any landscape and can be planted trellised or free standing goblet style depending on the location, soil type and varietal.  Vines can give you a true inspiration of the seasons with the March bud break and spring development of the shoots to the leaves turning color in the fall after harvest to the stark woody cordons in the winter dormancy period.

 

Listed below are a few general concepts you should consider

 before you begin installing your back yard vineyard.

 

Location:

 

Many successful backyard vineyards have been established in nontraditional growing areas. Since Grape vines are naturally adaptable, even areas of extreme climate are now considered reliable habitats.

 

The key here is to not plant Grape vines near trees or structures that can block sunlight and prevent air circulation. Locate your vines so that they receive the best possible access to sunlight.

Orientation:

 

The direction of your rows is largely dependent upon your available space and slope. If you can, run your rows North and South for maximum sunlight capture. And if you are in a warmer climate you may consider slightly angling them Southwest to Northeast to reduce intensity. This is not hugely important; it's just a consideration of adapting when possible

If the compass at your place is pointing clockwise with respect to the True North, declination is positive or EAST

 

If the compass at your place is pointing counter-clockwise with respect to the True North, declination is negative or WEST

 

Find the magnetic declination at your location:

REDLANDS

Latitude: 34° 3' 20" N

Longitude: 117° 10' 54" W

Magnetic declination: 12° 20' EAST

Declination is POSITIVE

Inclination: 59° 6'

Magnetic field strength: 47642.7 n

Weather:

 

Climate conditions will mostly determine the variety of grapes that can be successfully grown in your area. No grape flourishes in every region of the world. You'll need to know the length of your growing season to determine what variety will perform best. This is the average number of frost free days. Some grape varieties require longer growing seasons to fully ripen.

Soil:

 

Does your soil drain well?

 

Grape vines do not like to sit in puddles or really wet areas.

They don't like for their feet to get wet.

 

After a good rainfall examine your proposed site area for standing water. This is one of the many reasons why most but not all vineyards are planted on hill sloping hill sides.

 

Grape vines don't need much to feed on and they are fairly adaptable. Adding the wrong amendments can have a significant impact on your vines.

Believe it or not grapes don't do well in rich highly organic soils.

Slope:

 

A good moderate slope is perfect for grape growing. sloping hillsides aid drainage and are typically low in nutrient or organic matter due to years of erosion.

Row Spacing:

 

Space the rolls so that there is enough room to work comfortably. A good rule of thumb is to keep a minimum of 6' to 8' between rows. Placing you rolls too close to one another prevents sunlight penetration and air circulation causing leaves to mildew after heavy rains.

Vine Spacing:

 

Within each row you should also consider spacing between each vine.

Vine spacing vines can range anywhere from under 3' to over 8' depending on your location and the varietal selection as well as the choice of trellis or goblet style of grape growing.