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Grape - Fall Content

B.E.V. NY   •   BUSINESS MANAGEMENT   •   CULTURAL PRACTICES   •   IPM   •   VINE NUTRITION AND SOILS


2-years Pre-plant · Replanting Existing Vineyard Sites

Are there any special considerations for tearing out an old vineyard and planting a new one?

Studies have shown that replanting grapevines in soil previously planted to grapes tend not to thrive, or they rapidly decline over time. Although many factors have been determined to cause this lack of vigor, it is important to remember that to reduce the likelihood of these problems, growers may need to pull out the existing vines and allow the land to lie fallow - with a cover crop, say, rye or alfalfa - for one, preferably two, years prior to planting. Otherwise, note that posts and wires can be reused in replanted vineyards, and additional preparation can be completed as described in the Site Preparation page.

Steps to Mitigate Replant Issues

  • Soil testing. This is a common theme in grape production; for most questions regarding vine health and vigor, extension agents always ask first, "Have you done any soil testing?" Obtaining a complete soil test will enable you to know what amendments the soil needs. Applying soil amendments before a trellis is installed is far easier than trying to find equipment that will fit between rows AND spread the material effectively.
  • A local extension educator can provide growers with information on soil testing and recommendations based on test results.
  • Herbicide history. Some herbicides - such as 2,4 D, glyphosate, etc. - can have residual activities and negatively affect vines in the year subsequent to their applications.
  • Plant a cover crop for 1 to 2 years prior to planting of vineyard. A cover crop can increase soil organic matter and improve nutrient availability to vines.
  • Compost. Some studies in plant disease control have demonstrated that composts can have disease-suppression effects in disease-infested soils. Growers may want to consider compost application during replanting of vineyard sites.

Content by:

Dr. Jodi Creasap Gee
Viticulture Extension Educator
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program


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