watering grape vines

walterupchurch(7)May 26, 2007

would like to know how much would yaw water your new grape vines it is 90 hear an no rain i have been watering every night or after noon about 2 hours on drip it is a gal a hour been checking them the ground is moset my land is hard an rocky hear i have seen it crack when hot an dry wer haveing a dry season early

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First, I am not a grape expert by many sense of the word. I have managed to keep several different varieties thriving and productive here in Houston where Pierce's Disease tends to kill off the tender, first and second year vines very quickly. Going on ten years of great table and wine grapes. I can share my experience and what I have learned thus far.

Much of the watering need depends on your climate and soil.
Here in Houston, we have the "arm pit" of humidity of the US. (Sorry for the graphic depiction) and heavy clay "gumbo" soil.
In the first year of growth, grapes tend to like an evenly moist and loose soil. Yet they will not tolerate "wet feet" for prolonged periods of time.
I dug a pit 3 times a wide and 3x deep as the root ball and replaced the soil.
This helped the vines for drainage and such in the first couple of years.

I also utilize drip irrigation for my grapes.
The first year I started the vines, I watered 4 gallons every 3 or 4 days, and liquid fertilizer every 14 days.
Grapes tend to establish a deep root structure in the first couple of years. Established grape plants are pretty drought resistant. If you water it at all, (which I do) give it about 25 (clay) to 50 (sand) gallons thru a 2gph (clay) to 5gph (sand) dripper every one and a half to two weeks once established.

I ONLY water in the early morning. This is due to the many fungal disease problems which many grape varieties are susceptible to. With the warm ground temperatures and high humidity here, I do not dare to tempt fungal problems with afternoon or evening watering. I have found my best friend in the early morning is a good quality electronic water timer. :-)

After the first year, if possible, avoid watering grapes after mid August as watering will greatly delay fruit ripening.

I also spray for fungal problems. For myself, I have found that a general spray containing Bacillis Subtillis works well. This is normally available at quality garden centers and on the web. One product readily available which contains Bacillis Subtillis is Serenade garden disease control concentrate.

Hope this helps, and keep in mind the zone, soil, and climate differences.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 6:19AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Walter: Two gallons every day on a new grapevine is way too much. With heavy soil you will kill them. Once a week in a dry spell would be a lot better. And keep the weeds way from the plant until it gets established.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 11:42AM
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My wife insists on watering our grape vine after it is pruned all winter and spring. It told her it was unnecessary.
Who is correct?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 5:27PM
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