Increasing your stock
Grape vines can be propagated successfully from hard wood cuttings. These can be taken at pruning time from selected material. To ensure a good strike rate, follow these simple steps.
- Only use fully ripened, disease free wood. The best material is taken from the oldest part of the cane, at the bottom. this area will be riper and is likely to have more nodes (buds) than material from higher up the cane.
- Cut the cane just below a node, with a straight clean cut
- Allow 30cm or so length for the cutting and cut at an angle 2-3cm above a node. You now have a cutting. Make sure you cut straight at the bottom and angled at the top, this way you know which way is up! it’s easy to get confused if you cut similarly at both ends.
- Bundle the cuttings together and label, keep varieties separate.
- Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight until early Spring
- Prepare the area where you intend to plant the cuttings. A raised bed is ideal as the soil warms up more quickly than open ground. choose a sheltered sunny location. Remember, these cuttings will remain in this position until Autumn.
- Submerge the bundled cuttings in water for at least 24 hours. This allows the cuttings to re-hydrate before planting.
- Dig out a V shaped trench 20cm deep, this will allow 2/3 of the cutting to be in contact with the soil. Ensure you have them the right way up, place the cuttings in the trench about 10cm apart
- Back fill the trench and firm the soil around the cutting, water liberally.
- Ensure the soil does not dry out
- Bud burst will be generally late May into June. Maintain watering as the new shoots are quite vulnerable at this stage. Quite often the shoots appear before the roots begin to develop.
- Allow the shoots to grow, leave all shoots on the developing cutting at this stage.
- By Autumn, shoots should be at least 30cm long or more with some varieties
- When the leaves have fallen, the vines can be lifted carefully with a spade
- Generally the roots will be 10-20cm long produced largely from the nodes
- Discard any cuttings which have failed or are very weak
- Bundle your graded vines together and carefully ‘heel in’ ensuring all roots are covered
Your new vines are ready for planting into their final position