Third Weekend

Yeah, I missed posting on the last one.  I have been busy, and all I did up there was get stuck in muck, and do chainsaw work.  There had been a half foot of snow which was not done melting, which put me behind on things.  I had planned to start digging holes for the grape vines, and had brought 18 with me to get in the ground.  That was what Nell and I did this weekend.

First we measured out for the trellises we might build later this year, or it can wait until next.  5′ pieces of rebar mark the main trellis posts.  Each trellis will be 52′ long, with the vines spaced 8′ apart.  We ran a long tape measure, pushing markers cut from brush we are clearing, at each interval.  Then we worked back through, drilling the holes.

For the actual planting, we cut out around the hole, making it about 18 inches wide.

The drilled hole is 3X the depth of the planting hole, and we back-filled it with sand for better drainage.  Then the grape vine is set in with sand, and topsoil. (which is a silty loam with a lot of clay in it)We added some lime as we went too.  The soil up there is acidic, which is not a bad thing, but we want to balance it out a bit.

Grapes do not need great soil (they fruit better in poor soils) but they do not like competition with their roots, so we are starting them with a newspaper  mulch to smother out the grasses around them.

The mulch is covered with sand and the clay chunks that did not fit when back-filling, which should starve the grasses underneath for light.

So, from the top, looking down the hill, 10 rows, 60 holes, 18 grapes in.

We spent a good amount of time cutting firewood as well, to give us breaks from digging holes (which is easier with a power auger than by hand, but still hard on the body) and while doing so, I nearly hit a woodcock with the bar while cutting.  They really blend in well.  I took a photo of the nest she had been sitting on, and went back an hour later to see if she had returned.  She did.

There she is, next to the log I had been cutting.

Can you see her yet?

If you don’t know they are there, you could step on them.


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