Grapevines, Where do I start?
There are some things you should consider before you plant grapevines. Soil content, Rootstock, Scions, Genetics and Characteristics play more of a roll then you think. Ever visit a vineyard and see one group of grapesvines that are thriving with abundate fruit and other grapevines looking under developed with little to no fruit and struggling to survive? Well there are many variables to growing grapevines and grapes, so we have added the following resources below that will hopefully help you sort it all out.
Start with your soil. What kind is it? Clay or Sandy Loam? What was the land used for before you purchased it?
Next, get samples of the soil and send it off to a Soil, Water and Forage Analysis Laboratory before you plant your grapevines.
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service Soil, Water, Forage Testing Laboratory
When you get your report back, access the findings and decide if you need to make ajustments to the soil before moving on to the next stage.
Rootstock, a rootstock is part of a plant, often an underground part, from which new above-ground growth can be produced. It can be referred to as a rhizome or underground stem. In, grafting, it refers to a plant, sometimes just a stump, which already has an established, healthy root system, onto which a cutting or a bud from another plant is grafted. Rootstocks also may be selected for traits such as resistance to drought, root pests and diseases. To see which rootstock is the best for your soil and conditions you can check the Vintage Nursery Rootstock Guide.
Scions, the plant part grafted onto the rootstock that is selected for its stems, leaves, flowers or fruits. The scion contains the desired genes to be duplicated in future production by the stock/scion plant. A variety of rootstocks may be used for a single species or cultivar of scion because different rootstocks impart different properties, such as vigour and fruit size.The rootstock may be a different species from the scion, but as a rule it should be closely related. To find out more about scions, their origins, indentity, characteristics and clonal information, The National Grape Registry/UCDavis
Texas Grape Spray Guide 2012/AgriLife Extension Texas A&M System
Excellent guide for Texas, contains recommended Spray Programs per County, Fungicide Efficacy table, Insect & Insecticide table, Airblast Sprayer Calibration Worksheet.
Texas Winegrape Network
A comprehensive informational resource for grape growers and winemakers.
Texas AgriLife Extension/Texas (Cotton) Root Rot of Grapes
Great resource for understanding Cotton Root Rot in Texas with excellent photos of grapevines that suffer from the problem.
Arizona Extension Plant Pathology/Texas (Cotton) Root Rot Reports