Planting Dormant Bare Root Grapevines

All Instructions Must Be Followed to Ensure Success

The best time to plant dormant vines is late March through the end of April. 

Pre-Planting

Vines need to be planted in a field with adequate moisture. If the field is dry, pre-irrigate several days before beginning planting. Success on non-irrigated sites is not assured.

Vines should be allowed to warm up 4 – 5 days in a barn or garage (out of direct sun) prior to planting. When planting late in the season with daytime temperatures exceeding 65 degrees F, it is essential that plants be held at ambient temperatures until the buds swell. Protect vines from direct sun and prevent them from drying.

When planting in very rocky sites and sites without irrigation, vine roots should be soaked for 24 hours in water (free of pathogens!). 

On sites with no irrigation, plant in February. Success on non-irrigated sites is not assured. 

 Planting

Dormant Planting Illustration (1)

  1. Dig a hole with a shovel 12" to 14" deep and wider than the roots when they are spread out. Score the sides of the hole, especially in soils with high clay content.
  2. Place the vine in the hole, spreading the roots over a cone of soil at the bottom of the hole. Backfill the hole with original soil free of herbicide residue, large clods or rocks. If soil amendments are used, mix them thoroughly into the backfill soil.
  3. Tap down the soil gently as you proceed, while keeping the plant straight and upright.
  4. When the hole is filled and tamped down, the graft union should be 4" above the soil line.
  5. Loose soil (free of herbicides) must be mounded over the vine. This soil mound should extend about 1" above the tip of the plant so none of the plant is showing. This is essential since the soil protects the buds from temperature extremes as the vine comes out of dormancy. Alternately, Novavine plant protectors can be used instead of mounding soil. It's essential that these cartons be securely placed over the vines and the tops be pinched closed until the emergence of shoots from the dormant vines
  6. Irrigate right after planting to help settle the roots and remove air pockets around them.
  7. If mounding soil, when growth appears, remove the soil mound from around the vine so the graft union is well above the soil line and install a paper vine shelter such as a 1/2 gallon milk carton.
  8. Water weekly, keeping roots moderately moist in well-drained soil.