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Additional Considerations

Grafted vines have variable growth rates. Buds may start to grow in just 3-4 weeks, or some may take up to 4 months or more before they develop a strong shoot. Be patient and continue to manage the suckers, make bleeding cuts as needed, and train the shoots throughout the season.

Treat the vines with the same care that you give to newly planted vines. Nitrogen fertilization is generally not recommended during the grafting year unless the vineyard has a history of deficiency. Micronutrients, such as boron and zinc, should be applied if needed. Disease control is not as great a concern as it is in a producing vineyard, but preventing powdery mildew from becoming severe on the leaves will result in a stronger vine. If fungicide sprays are made with an airblast sprayer, use the lowest fan speed possible to avoid blowing the shoots around and potentially weakening the graft union.

Successful field grafting can result in vigorous shoot growth that enables the vine to produce a crop the next year. Avoid overcropping grafted vines in their first year; balance the crop load with the size of the canopy. Vines with failed grafts can be grafted again in the following year if suckers have kept them alive and strong.