Chapter 6

Grapevine Planting Stock

Handling and Storage of Grapevine Planting Stock

Dormant Benchgrafts and Rooted Cuttings

Correct handling and storage of grapevine planting stock received from nurseries is a critical factor in maintaining grapevine quality. The planting stock (rooted cuttings and dormant benchgrafts) is usually tied in bundles and come packed in bins or plastic bags, surrounded by moist shavings (or peat moss). The vines should be counted to verify the number delivered and checked to be sure that every bundle is properly labeled. Often growers choose to store dormant benchgrafts in cold storage rooms until planting. Therefore, it is important to ensure that there are several small holes in plastic bags so that the vines have sufficient oxygen during storage. The ideal storage temperature for grapevines is 34 to 36 degrees F (1 to 2°C), which gives the grapevines their "chilling requirement" as well as keep them from growing before they are planted. Moving vines in and out of cold storage is undesirable, as it disturbs their metabolism.

Green Benchgrafts

At this early age of the vine, the graft union is still fragile. Always handle green benchgrafted vines by the container. Never drop the vines or handle roughly. In the case of green benchgrafts they should be placed in a shaded holding area that is protected from the wind. Depending on the temperature the vines may need to be watered 2 or 3 times each day. If the potting mix is allowed to dry out it may become water-repelling and will not rewet easily; consequently the vines will suffer severe water stress in spite of regular watering.

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