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Section 7: Selection and Care of Transplants

Be sure the plants you buy have been inspected and certified by the State Department of Agriculture. Many nurseries sell one or two-year-old bareroot plants or container plants. The one-year-old plants have adequate roots for transplanting, but the two-year-olds are stronger and have a larger root system and top.To ensure that you get the plants you want, place your order as early as August. Most nurseries ship plants during January and February. However, they will honor a request for specific dates and shipping instructions.

Transplant survival depends largely on the care you give the plants when they arrive from the nursery (Figure 1). Take special care to ensure against loss of roots on bare root plants since a portion of the root system may be destroyed when the plants are dug at the nursery. Remove plants from the package as soon as they arrive from the nursery. Since you probably cannot transplant all of them immediately, heel them in, water, and remove them as needed. The root system must be kept moist at all times.

Container plants can be shipped to the farm and left outside during the winter. Water as needed to keep the container media moist. Place the containers close together with the lips touching and pile straw around the outside of the massed plants to reduce the chance of winter injury to the roots. If temperatures below 10 degrees F are expected, move the plants to a enclosed building where the temperature is above 20 degrees F.

Figure 1. These transplants have been heeled in to protect the root system from drying out.

Section 8: Vineyard Arrangement and Pollination