The vines are planted! The vines are planted!

Thanks to the help of some wonderful friends and family we got 47 vines planted this weekend. The planting went really well. We had one set of two guys running the single person post-hole digger (which had a good bit and worked wonderfully this time). We then had two teams of two people planting the vines, and finally one person with a bucket going around and watering the new plantings with a mixture of H2O and vitamin B12.

The B12 is important. You are supposed to let the dormant vines soak in a combination of water and B12 for 12 to 24 hours prior to planting. This wakes up the dormant plants. Once the vines are in the ground, you add the same mixture to help them establish themselves.

We used two person planting teams because there is more to getting the vines in the ground then just sticking the plant in the hole and covering it with dirt. Once the plant is in the hole, you need to add a little dirt and tap that down. Then you pull up on the plant slightly, allowing the roots to straighten; and while one person holds the plant slightly lifted, the other adds the rest of the dirt and taps it down again.

Once the plants were in the ground, we covered each one in a blue grow tube. It might not look too pretty, but the tubes should protect the plants from critters and should amplify blue light which increases beneficial photosynthetically active radiation.

My only regret from the whole day was that I did not get a group photo of all the wonderful people who helped out. It would be nice to have a picture of all the people who helped out. Even though I do not have a group picture, here are a few photos taken throughout the day.

Planting This Saturday

The vines are here! Two bags arrived this afternoon. When I ordered 50 grape vines, I expected some giant shipment. Not so. Only got two small bags each filled with 25 vines.

Tomorrow is planting day. I have suckered a number of my family and friends to come help me out. Hopefully we can get all 46 planted along the rows. The rest will be planted along the fence, but that might not happen for a little while.

This is what got delivered today. I am so excited to plant these suckers into the ground!

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As a blog designed to document my travels, this is going terribly. I will post about my wonderful trip to Hawaii soon, I promise.

As a blog documenting my attempt to plant a mini vineyard in my back yard, this blog is going swimmingly.

Last weekend Joe & I took a 1 day course on starting your own vineyard hosted by Tom of the Thomas Kruse Winery in Gilroy. It was a great class and we learned so much. My only regret is that I did not know of this class last year when we started this whole endeavor. I would have done several things differently, including possibly choosing a different support structure for my trellising. My wooden posts will still work fine, but Tom recommend a metal structure system that seems a little better. Also, it might make better use of the light in my back yard. I still like my system and I do not regret going with the wooden posts.

The two most useful  bits of knowledge I got from the class was 1. how to properly plant a 1-year old grapevine that you get from a nursery and 2. how to train and prune the vines. I have been very worried about the pruning of the vines. Grapes only grow from 1 year old wood, so you have to be very careful about the pruning of the vines in order to ensure that you get good quality and quantity fruit.

After taking this course, Joe & I feel so much more confident about our future vineyard than we did the day before. In fact, we are feeling so good that we went ahead and ordered our vines for delivery. The vines will be arriving Thursday, March 13th. Since the fear of frost is over, ends about Feb 15th in our area, we are going to plant the vines that Saturday and Sunday. We will be renting a post hole digger and calling on the kindness of friends and family to come help us plant. I am so excited I can hardly keep from jumping all around. Yay vines!!