How and when to replant young grape vines?
February 8, 2011 2:39 AM Subscribe
I think I've failed in my first test as a backyard gardener by planting some grape vines in a stupid place. What can I do to save them?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
About five months ago, in mid-Spring, I planted three small (20cm high) grape vines in my backyard in Canberra. They've mostly grown well; one in particular has a main stem about 3 metres long.
Unfortunately two of them are about 50cm away from the underground sewer mains (that's on the surface; the pipes are probably somewhere between 60cm and 2m deep). The other is about 2.5m away. I now understand that the highly invasive roots of the grape vines are likely to eventually damage the pipes and block them, and that legally I should have planted them at least 3m away.
So, I'd like to move them to a more sensible place where they will be unable to destroy anything, but I'm not sure how to do so and my google searches have dug up a vast range of confusing and contradictory information. Stupid content farms. Current plan is to dig a circle 80cm in diameter and about 50cm deep around each of them with a mattock, scoop them up from the bottom with a shovel, then move them to a new hole somewhere else and water them heavily. Does that sound right, or is there a better way? The law aside, do I need to move the one that's 2.5m away?
And when would be the best time? It's late Summer now; should I move them now so that they can do a bit of growing in their new site before they lose their leaves for Winter, or should I wait until just before they start growing again next year? I was planning to prune them back pretty hard (probably to a 50cm single stalk) at the end of Winter.
One of the possible planting sites is next to the house, a long way away from underground water pipes. Does putting a grapevine next to a house guarantee doom for the foundations?
More data: the soil is clayish; the varieties of vines are black muscat, white muscat and emerald seedless; the climate here usually has long, hot Summers and long, cold Winters although this Summer has been unusually cold and wet; the sewer pipes are probably about 40 years old and likely made of something weak and permeable; two of the vines are healthy but the seedless has been stunted by mildew - should I save it or just start again?
Please help my grape vines.