“NO….NOT NOW!” Those were the words uttered when we saw the little box sitting on the front porch after a visit from UPS. It was our grapevine order from January! One of our goals on our “LIST” this year was to plant the little vineyard on the hill. We had ordered our grapes way back in January and were all set to receive them in early march – and that’s when it all went a little crazy.
The warm spring all over the midwest led to a call in mid-March from the nursery we had purchased our vines from. All of their bare root stock – because of the warm temperatures, had begun to show signs of budding. And with the chance of a late frost still hanging in the air – they advised us they would not be shipping our Marquette grape vines until they were completely leafed out – and we could plant them as potted vines.
So, we waited….May came and went – and as June started, we began to think that we just wouldn’t be able to put them in this year. Starting new grape vines is all about timing – (cooler weather is best) and good water. Of course – the weather here lately has been anything but that -little rain, with temperatures steadily climbing into the mid to high 80′s – not a good combination at all.
But there they were – all neatly stacked in the little box – wrapped up in paper. Our future bottles of jam and wine staring up at us needing to be planted – right smack dab in the middle of a dry and hot growing season with a million other things to do! So we carefully unboxed them, gave them a drink of water, sat them on our porch to begin to acclimate to our weather – and out we went to the farm to finish creating the rows we had started to prepare in early March.
For this year – we will have to sink 4 x 4 end posts to each row – and then string up a galvanized wire about 12″ of the ground to get them trained. That will be good enough for now – and then we can add the final lines to the trellis season this fall when we are less busy.
We figure we will let them get used to the sun for a few days slowly on the porch – and then plant them late in the day on Sunday evening for a cooler start. Unfortunately – it’s going to be a long summer of trying to get them established. We will have to water daily for the first 3 to 4 weeks no matter what. Hopefully, Mother Nature will help out with some good rains and hold back on the scorching sun. If the sun gets too hot – we will have to come up with some type of a shade system for at least the first few weeks.
But hey – no problemo!!!! This is what it’s all about – it’s what makes growing such a challenge and far better to have work to do than nothing at all! :)
Jim and Mary