Monday, 14 November 2011

Grape expectations

Phew....finally I’ve managed to get out into the garden and plant the vine layerings I did this Spring. Layering means making a portion of the plant produce roots while still attached to the mother plant. I managed to get another eight plants from my two ‘grown-up’ vines this year. 

Back in April I chose several shoots/branches that were about the thickness of a pencil and ‘wounded’ the part of the stems that were going to be covered with compost. Use a knife or pruning shears to scrape down through the bark to expose the cambium layer which is where the new roots will start. Then I pushed the stems (wound side down) onto a pot full of compost, covered with more compost and placed some heavy rocks and stones on top to hold the stems in place. I left these undisturbed for 6 months just making sure the compost was damp at all times. By about October I noticed some rootlets poking out from the underside of the pots and cut the layerings off the ‘mother plant’.

Last year’s layerings are now well established and looking very fit and healthy - I’m working on ultimately getting a mini vineyard out of them all, so here’s to Chateau Cinq Vallées!

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