Grapes of Wrath Update

Sometime in January of this year I purchased two itty bitty bare root grape vines (one Thompson green seedless and one Thompson red flame seedless).  One went in the ground surrounded by my state-of-the-art vineyard-style support system.  The other went into a pot.  Little did I know, but this turned out to be a science experiment of sorts.  The one in the ground with slightly less sunlight and poorer, clay soil barely grew, complete with tiny leaves.  The one in the pot planted in loose organic potting soil grew like a weed and is now 6′ tall, with gorgeous leaves the size of my hand.  Gradually I had to accept that I had a decision to make.

Leave the vigorous vine in the pot and allow it to eventually weaken due to limited root space or chance it and transplant it to the so-so location that the other has floundered in.  A neighbor gardener and I discussed it one morning and a honey-do weekend project was hatched unbeknownst to my husband (what’s new).  Honey-do list priority 1: Transplant.  One of the beauties of the garden is the opportunity to make mistakes.  Many plants will rebound and I’ve read that grape vines are hardy transplanters.  It’s okay not to be perfect.  Your garden does not judge, but tries it’s best to continue thriving.

In the ground she went.  I know, I know, some pruning is in my future.  The leaves have curled a bit and the top of the main shoot has curved downward, but it is to be expected.

My hope is that the health and vigor of the vine will battle the sub-par soil and emerge victorious.  I’ve read that grape vines are actually planted in nutrient-poor soil on purpose, particularly wine grapes.  This forces more moderate crops with superior flavor.  However even with poor soil there must always remain one soil truth: drainage.  It is here where I am lacking somewhat, so I added some sand with the existing soil and crossed my fingers.

A few of the girls gave their stamp of approval.

You will notice a lower shoot growing out to the left.  The reason that I left this is in case something horrific happens to the first.  I like plan B’s.  By the way, doesn’t it look gorgeous in the sunlight?  If you’d like to see how I constructed the vineyard-style support system (I mean my Dad), check out the original post here.

And if you’re wondering about the fate of the little, meek grape vine that was taken out of the ground… got potted up in the same pot and spot that the other did so well in.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be in a similar predicament come next spring with where to plant it. 🙂


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