FAQ

Grapevines

"2010 Protocol" indicates vines have been propagated from plant material developed by the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). Plant material from grape varieties or clones is tested for an extensive list of viruses and Phytoplasma that cause economic damage to grapevines. At this point Agrobacterium (Crown Gall) is not included in the certification as it has proven difficult to completely clean up material and keep it free of this bacteria. In addition material is put through micro-shoot tip culture to ensure clean plants. These vines are then planted in a G1 (first generation) mother block at the Russell Ranch vineyard near Davis, CA. Nurseries can obtain propagation material from the G1 vines and plant their own G2 (second generation) increase blocks. Vines are tested on a regular basis to ensure that the G2 vines have remained virus-free and that vines propagated from them meet 2010 Protocol certification standards. A full description of the Protocol 2010 testing can be found at: http://fps.ucdavis.edu/fgr2010.cfm 
For a list of all the viruses tested under 2010 Protocol and other available certification programs please see this page on our website: https://doubleavineyards.com/certification-designations.
Our plants are considered “bare root”. Usually, when they are shipped, they have moist packing material around the roots and should arrive in very good condition. It is important to keep the plants cool and the roots moist prior to planting.
A cooler, garage or basement room is typically good storage locations for your plants if you can’t plant immediately. Plants will be fine in the packages they are shipped in for up to 2 weeks however; the packing paper may need to be remoistened after the first week in storage. The storage area temperature for the plants should not dip below freezing. Dormant plants should not be stored near apples or other fruits as the ethylene gas produced could be toxic to the buds.
A packing slip should be included on your package outlining each variety in your order. Additionally, each plant will have a plastic tag denoting the variety, size or rootstock (depending upon the type of plant). If more than one plant is ordered, all like varieties will be bundled together up to a quantity of 25.
Typically, there is no need to amend the soil but up to 50% peat moss can be added if desired. If you have concerns about your soil prior to planting you can test your soil with our Soil Nutrient Testing Package that includes a full review of the results by our viticulturist and a detailed summary of how best to adjust the conditions of your soil to promote healthy plant growth.
We recommend soaking the plants in water for several hours prior to planting but no more than 24 hours.
This growth is referred to as “etiolated” shoots. These shoots indicate that the plants are alive. They develop when the plants break dormancy while in storage or in transit. When exposed to the sunlight, this growth will turn brown or fall off. Grapes are unique in that they have primary, secondary & tertiary buds. There are also many latent buds that can develop. The plants will continue to grow.
First, you need to determine if the plant is grafted or own rooted. A grafted plant will be tagged with a rootstock designation such as 101-14, 3309, or 1103P and have a “knot” where the plants were joined together. 

Grafted Planting:

The graft union (knotty section) should be planted 2-3 inches above the soil surface. The hole for the plant should be 1.5- 2 times the diameter of the root system. When planted, all roots should be spread out. Immediately after planting, the graft union should be covered with soil to protect it and harden it off. Once the plant starts to grow, the soil should be removed or the plant may root into the soil, defeating the purpose of the graft. It is also important to cover the graft union before winter if you are considered zone 6A or less then remove the soil in the spring each year.
 

Own Rooted Planting:

Make sure to dig a hole big enough to spread out the roots. There is no need to trim the roots prior to planting. If desired you can trim roots to 8 inches to help in the ease of planting. Balling up the roots inside a hole that is too small may stunt the plant. When planting large quantities, it is recommended to dig a trench, spread out the roots horizontally and backfill with dirt. Position the plant at the same depth as is evident on the plant – roots under the ground with shoots above. If there are more than two shoots coming out of the top of the plant, it can be trimmed to the two strongest shoots. Each shoot can be pruned to 2-3 buds, leaving 4-6 buds on the plant.
Refer to the Grapevine Characteristic Chart available in your Double A Vineyards catalog or in our Growers Guide. Each variety has recommended spacing to give optimal productivity per acre. Home gardeners can be flexible with which spacing they choose to use due to aesthetics or site constraints.
It is best to plant grapes as soon as the ground can be worked. If there is a frost, primary bud damage may occur. The secondary and tertiary buds will continue to develop and the plant will grow.
Plants should be watered when planted. Grapes require an inch of rain per week or the equivalent during the first growing season. During a dry season, watering every 7-10 days becomes necessary.
Immediately after planting, the Blue-X and Plantra vine shelters can be put over the plant. The vine shelters can be attached to a bamboo pole, stake, wire or trellis to maintain the upright position. This will protect the tender foliage from “critter” damage as well as allow herbicide to be sprayed around the plants to minimize competition from other vegetation.
The best time to remove either vine shelter is after the plant goes dormant in the fall. The foliage will no longer be appetizing for deer or other animals and there will be no need for weed sprays. We do not recommend leaving the shelters on during the winter as this may create a greenhouse effect.
There is no need to fertilize the first year. The fertilizer tends to promote too much vegetative growth. In the second year, triple 15 fertilizer can be used, sprinkled in a 6-8” diameter around the plant.
  1. Please check out Double A Vineyard's product offering to help you protect your plants from disease and pests.


Berries

Our plants are considered “bare root”. Usually, when they are shipped, they have moist packing material around the roots and should arrive in very good condition. It is important to keep the plants cool and the roots moist prior to planting.
A cooler, garage or basement room is typically good storage locations for your plants. The storage area temperature for the plants should not dip below freezing. Dormant plants should not be stored near apples or other fruits as the ethylene gas produced could be toxic to the buds.
A packing slip should be included on your package outlining each variety in your order. Additionally, each plant will have a plastic tag denoting the variety. If more that one plant is ordered, all like varieties will be bundled together up to a quantity of 10 or 25.
Refer to each section listed below for the specific requirements for each type of plant. Backyard fruit and berry plants will do best by providing the specified conditions.
Set plants slightly deeper than they grew in the nursery. Prior to planting, cut the shoots back to 6 to 10 inches above ground level. Currants and Gooseberries may be planted 2-4 feet apart with rows 6-8 feet apart. Elderberries may be planted 7-8 feet apart with rows 10-12 feet apart. Apply mulch around the base of the plants to conserve moisture and control weeds. Place 2 to 4 inches of straw, grass clippings, sawdust, or wood chips around each plant and replenish annually to this depth.
Blueberries thrive in acid soil with a pH of 4.0-4.5. Soil should be rich in organic matter and well drained. The soil may be amended with up to 50% peat moss. Plants should be spaced at 3-foot intervals in rows 8 feet apart. Raised beds work well for blueberries, providing the necessary drainage. After planting, a heavy 3” pine mulch lay provides some of the acidic organic matter that blueberries require.
Blackberries and raspberries or brambles like full sun and well-drained soil. Planting in raised beds is recommended for extra yield and optimal long-term plant survival. Plants should be placed 2-3 feet apart with 6-8 ft. spacing between rows. Water plants immediately after planting and regularly throughout the growing season if rainfall is less that 1” per week. Berries may be mulched with bark; hay, straw, aged saw dust or landscape fabric might be used for weed prevention. Place the berry plant in a shallow two-inch trench. Spread the roots horizontally, push the plants into the soil and completely cover the roots as well as approximately 2” of the plant. Since the roots are very fine, it is extremely important that the roots remain moist. Berries should be soaked in water a few hours prior to planting and watered well. Don’t let the plant develop fruit the first year. Each subsequent year after fruiting, prune old canes and burn. Mulch plants well. Just before buds open, raspberries and blackberries may be sprayed with lime sulphur or Bordeaux mixture (4-6-50 Copper sulphate, hydrated lime and water).
For best results Aronia Berries should be planted within the USDA hardiness zones 3-8. Aronia Berries prefer full sun to partial shade and will bloom late spring to early summer. When you receive your plants they will be dormant and can therefore be planted as soon as they arrive. Soak the roots in water prior to planting. Make sure you plant with the crown of the plant (where the stems meet the roots) no more than one inch below the surface of the soil. They should be planted with 5' - 8' between plants and 12 foot spacing between rows. Keep the soil moderately moist but not soggy, watering a minimum of once a week throughout the first growing season. Spread mulch around the base of the plant keeping it approximately 2 inches away from the trunk, as a way to reduce weeds and conserve moisture.
For best results Goji Berries should be planted within the USDA hardiness zones 6-9. You should select a site where the soil is high in organic matter, well drained and neutral to slight alkaline soil. A soil PH of 7 is ideal. Goji Berries also prefer full day sun however they will tolerate half-day sun. When you receive your plants they will be dormant and can therefore be planted as soon as they arrive. Soak the roots in water prior to planting. Make sure you spread out the roots and push soil in and around the roots. Keep the soil moderately moist for the first few months or until you see new growth sprouting. Spread mulch around the base of the plant to reduce weeds and conserve moisture.
At Double A Vineyards we begin the process of “hardening off” the tender greenhouse plants prior to shipment or pickup. It is important to keep in mind that greenhouse-grown plants should be protected from freezing conditions initially after planting. If cold weather is predicted, cover plants with a pot or box to minimize stress. Plants should be kept moist enough to prevent wilting but not over watered.
We recommend soaking the plants in water for several hours prior to planting, but no more than 24 hours.
Plants should be watered when planted. Your berries will require 2 gallons of water per square foot of root spread applied weekly.
Refer to the specific planting recommendations for each type of small fruit. The “GRAPE GROWING RESOURCES” section on our website also has detailed information readily accessible under the “BERRIES” heading.
Please refer to the Double A Vineyards website: www.doubleavineyards.com. Our “Growers Guide” houses several very good resources from different cooperative extensions and universities. We also have book available such as THE BACKYARD BERRY BOOK that provides great resources for the home gardener.