Monday, May 17, 2021

"I am Groot" - Bulk Grape Vine Propagation

We propagate about 50-75 vines each year and depending on the variety we get up to 90% propagation rate to as low as 30%. This year we have a challenge. We are expanding our vineyard and we ordered hundreds of vines from a commercial vine supplier in Ontario only to find out that they went bankrupt, or were sold the other large commercial vine supplier, or we don't really know because their phones don't work, no email response, no one to tell us if we will get our deposit back for the order we placed (we highly doubt it).

So what can we do - well, if you've seen the Marvel movie "Guardians of the Galaxy" then you know about re-growing a plant. You are probably also familiar with the line "I am Groot" delivered by the tree-like character named Groot. (seen at left with co-star Rocket the Racoon). In this movie Groot gets smashed to a hundred pieces of wood after the space ship they were in crashed, but they re-grow Groot from a stick fragment. From the perspective of someone who grows grapes, I was most curious about the propagation of what was left of Groot after they crashed in the space ship.

Seemingly, all that was required to re-grow Groot was to take a stick fragment of the former Groot and stick it into a pot with soil and before

long the stick will grow (photo at right). Particularly interesting as that is the same way one can propagate grape vines - you take a healthy cutting of one of the canes from the grape vine, stick it in a pot of soil and watch it grow. Of course you need to keep it watered and give it sunlight but that will pretty much do it.

So we are growing our own vines this year, about 1500 of them, and enough for nearly 2 acres. Looks like an entire army of Groots. So far so good, the cuttings are budding out nicely, but they almost always bud out nicely at the start. Its the next stage of forming the roots that the vines can fail. We try to help that along by dipping the soil end of the cutting in rooting hormone to help stimulate the growth.

We have lots of buds starting to push out on our "Groot" vines (Marechal Foch seen at left) and they should be leafing out soon.

We've blogged about how to grow grape vines from cuttings before so here is the link. Growing Grape Vines Form Cuttings