We often receive questions regarding variability in the vineyard when replanting young vines. As a rule of thumb, growth variability should be anticipated as it is hard to determine what is happening underground. Often times, old material remains from a vine pull or the soil is tired and has not been left fallow for the suggested period of time. We all know that realistically, sometimes there is not enough time or it is not economically viable to adhere to ‘best practice strategies.’
However, given that best practice strategies are carried out a new vines stand a very good chance of developing to be a healthy, productive vine.
It is always recommended to remove the old vine before replanting. Some people are replanting the year before they pull out an old vine, which is not good practice as there could be Leafroll virus in the old vine which will then be transferred to the new plant. Another consequence of under-planting is that the young vine may not be getting adequate water.
Here are some suggested guidelines:
from Mark Allen (Allen Vineyard Advisory):
- One of the main reasons for variability in vine growth relates to insufficient replanting fertiliser. With replanting in gaps it is often overlooked that the soils are quite depleted from the original vine competition.
- It is recommended to apply a slow release fertiliser 20-30cm away from new vines. 50 - 80 gm of Agroblen is a guideline, slotted in with a spade each side of the vine post planting.
- It pays to dig a deep hole at planting as opposed to slotting the vine in with a trenching spade.
- If the drippers are no more than 60 cm apart then there should be no need to put in an extra button dripper.
- The key to training is using a 1.8 m bamboo with just an ordinary milk carton spray guard for standard vines and no guard for tall vines. Avoid using the tall guards - they often get caught in the harvester collector plates and finish up damaging the new vine.
- The vines will rapidly grow vertically requiring minimal attention, as the tendrils will catch onto the bamboo.
- By the end of the first growing season, all vines will have a single cane to wrap down.
Individual results may vary depending on external factors such as soil, climate, etc. If in doubt, we strongly recommend seeking professional advice.