Grape Propagation – Air layering

How to Air Layer Grape Vines

Often at the vineyard, we need to replace vines that have died over the years. We have tried many different ways, but this year, we decided to “air layer” propagate some of the grape vines. The basic concept is that when a grapevine touches dirt, it will spread roots. So, we took some one gallon pots and hung them from the trellis to root some of our vines for next year.

While there are different methods of air layering, this is the the process we followed:

First, we find a good strong arm on the grape vine. We want to find one that is healthy, has a fair amount of growth on it, and is no smaller than a pencil in thickness.

Next, we take our one gallon pot, and stuff the arm of the grape vine through it.

Be sure to trim off all leaves that are in the pot.

Then, we pack the grape vine in the pot with dirt.

Finally we tie it off to the trellis so that the pot is supported by the trellis so as to not dammage the grape vine. This will keep the pot stable during wind/rain storms.

I came back and added some drippers that were attached to the drip line to provide adiquate water. Since these pots are black and in the air, they dry out pretty fast in our sunny skies here in texas. Otherwise, you can just water it with a post every or every other day.

Come winter, these will be cut off from the vine, and they should all have a nice little root bundle swirling around inside the pot. All that will be left is to plant these in the spring after the last frost. I will probably heat treat them in hot water ( i beleive it is 140 degrees for 20 mins) to kill off any diseases they might have, so that they will start out healthy young vines.

The advantage to propagating this way, is the vines basically start out only  half a year behind a nursery bought plant. Also, as the arm is quite long, when planting you do not need to cut it off at the ground. As these are about 2-3 feet each, they will be starting out next year with 3 feet of growth!


And that is how you do Air layering of grape vines!!!

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