Planting Methods Affect Early Growth and Root Distribution of Muscadine Vines

in HortScience
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  • 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Small Fruit Research Station, P. O. Box 287, Poplarville, MS 39470

Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) vineyards can be difficult to establish due to poor vine growth or survival during the first year after planting. Effects of the planting hole (five types), root manipulation (three levels), and peat amendment (0% and 50%) on first-year growth were studied at two sites with different soil types: a sandy loam (well-drained) and a silty loam (moderately well-drained). The planting hole had the major effect at both sites; large holes (25 liters) shoveled with straight or angled sides resulted in more shoot and root dry weight and greater total root length than auger holes (21 liters) or small shovel holes (10 liters). Vine response to planting in a subsoil slot 0.5 m deep × 6 m long was similar to that in large holes in sandy soil and small holes in heavier soil. Root manipulation treatments had little effect on vine establishment. Root pruning at planting, with or without root separation, did not increase vine dry weight relative to an undisturbed root ball in either soil type, but total root length was increased by root pruning in the heavier silty loam soil. Peat amendment increased total root length in the sandy soil but not in the silty loam soil.

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