Vine propagation


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Vine propagation


The vine is one of the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings. Around 80% of cuttings should readily strike providing the wood is ripe and about the thickness of a pencil.

When pruning the vine in the month of December or January, select suitable canes and cut them into lengths of around twelve to fifteen inches with three buds on them (as in the drawing on the left).  When planted the top bud must be above the ground. The other two bud nodes will be buried in the soil and roots will grow from them. Take as many cuttings as you can as there are bound to be a few failures.

If you are not able to plant them immediately they should be kept in a plant pot full of sand or soil kept just moist so that the cuttings do not dry out. But if you have some ground prepared then they can be put in at any time as long as the ground is not frozen.

When you're ready to plant the cuttings, dig a trench deep enough to be able to be able to bury the cutting except for the top inch or so - remember the top bud must be above the ground. For the preparation of the ground you need only to remove weeds as the soil does not need feeding at this stage. (The Austrians call a row of cuttings a "Rebschule", a "vine school"!) If you have only a few cuttings then they can simply be pushed into the ground, providing the soil is friable.

Around May or June you will see the bud at the top of the cutting swell up and eventually burst into leaf. At this stage there will not be any roots. If there are any spells of dry weather the soil around the cuttings should be kept moist, just as it would be for vegetables. Roots will start to grow around July/August but you must not be tempted to move the cuttings or inspect them for root growth at this stage as they will probably not recover. In fact they must not be moved until the following December/January when the vines that have grown strongly may be moved into their final growing position.