Thursday, December 10, 2009

Taking Cuttings for Next Years Plants

It has been a mild fall in Edmonton and the relatively warm temperatures have continued on into early December. Up until now the coldest overnight temperatures were -14c, however, we're expecting some real cold in the next few days of -25c to -30c. So on December 3rd I took cuttings from the Marechal Joffre and Acadie Blanc vines in Edmonton.

I pruned the vines back to about 5-6 buds remaining and took the rest of the canes to utilize for cuttings. Each cane was then trimmed down to 3-4 bud lengths. The Joffre canes look good but there was very little usable cane from the Acadie. I had moved the Acadie mid summer and I think that most of the vine energy and carbohydrate storage has gone into the roots for the winter. As such the canes were week and many had died back nearly to the base of the vine by the time I had taken the cuttings.

I got about 25 cuttings of the Joffre and just a few cuttings of the Acadie. Click on the cuttings picture and you can see the nice green interior of the canes at the place where it was snipped. These cuttings I'll be treating in the spring to eradicate any pest that may be on them as they will be going to the experimental vineyard in BC (see the last blog Sources of Vines Nov 23). For now though I have to store them until March 2010, so for about 90 days. In doing so I need to preserve the moisture that is in the cuttings and to reduce chance of mold and spoilage and to keep them in the dormant stage.

To keep them moist, I've wrapped the group of canes in slightly moist paper towel and then wrapped the whole group in a plastic. I've read that some will dip or wash the cuttings in a mild bleach solution to reduce the chance of mold but I'm going to forgo that. To keep the canes dormant I'll store them at the back of my refrigerator to keep them cold. I have a thermometer with them and it shows the temperature is at 3-4 degrees c.

I'll open the parcel up in early March to do the treatment of the canes and then start to root them.