New grapevines can be propagated from the cuttings pruned from your grapevines. Since grapevines must be pruned every year, this gives you the opportunity to plant more and more grapevines every year without going out and spending hard earned money for more. We like free.
You will want to plan your pruning with the plan of planting your cuttings. The cuttings must be planted in the same direction they are growing, that is the end of the cutting that is closest to the base of the vine needs to go in the ground. An easy way to keep track of which end is which is to cut the bottom of the cutting straight across, and the top of the cutting trimmed at an angle. This way you can always tell which end of the cutting goes in the ground.
On each of the cuttings you plan to plant for more grapevines, you want to have a minimum of 3-4 buds. Buds are the thicker little bumps on the cane. These buds are where new canes will grow. While 3-4 is a minimum, more is always better. We pruned our cutting with 5-6 buds per cutting. The cuttings from the lower part of the cane are better to use for fresh plantings, but we took all of our cuttings to use. We have a fence around our garden that we plan to fill with grapevines, so we need a lot. We kept our clippings separated into two piles because we have two different grape varieties and wanted to plant them separately.
At this point the cuttings can be planted in the ground and you may have success. Alternatively you could store them in a cool dry place and plant them when the weather gets warmer, but there is a better way.
We took all of our cuttings and wrapped them in wet paper towels.
We then took those bundles and rolled them up in a black plastic bag. We put that plastic bag over a heat vent in an out of the way location in our home. The top of the fridge is a great place to store them as it is usually warm, but ours is full of stuff. Any warm location will work.
The idea is that with the water from the wet paper towels and the warmth, the cuttings will think it is spring and start to develop their roots. This will appear as callouses on the bottom of the cutting. We will leave ours in that warm area for 4-6 weeks. That happens to be the time when it warms up outside and the soil temperature should be high enough to continue the growing process for the grapevines.
Doing this with your cuttings will give the grapevine an extra 4-6 weeks of development over just planting them in the ground. This gives them a longer first year growth. Having more time to grow in the first year can be very handy. If your grapevines do not get enough growth the first year to reach their trellis, you can loose an entire year of growth, as you must wait until year two to grow the cordons along the trellis.
Here’s hoping we have a lot of success with this process, and are soon over run by grapes.