It was a LONG and COLD winter in Marlboro Twp. aka “Hartville” Ohio. We hit 18 below zero for more than a couple of days in a row and got hurt in the vineyard. Being new to this we took our time doing our summer work of unhilling our grafted root stock vines and are still finishing up some of that now.

A grafted root stock is a fruit plant that has a different root stock than upper part or “Scion”. The reason for doing this is a desired fruit plant (or in our case grape variety) might have a root system that is not well suited for the location or has vigor issues dealing with dieases or the like. So you put a root stock on that helps to avoid the disavantages and allows you to grow a plant that you have a market for. This is also done in apple trees and a lot of ornamental plants as well. Learn more about grafting by following this link

The disavantage is that in colder climates like Ohio’s you have to protect that graft “Union” between the stock and the scion from extreme weather conditions. We do that by hilling the soil up onto the union thereby mitigating some of the effects of that winter weather has on the grafted plant. There are other methods such as wood bark and staw mulch undergoing research and are being used in limited fashion as well. They are much easier to use but the jury is still out on how well they protect and there is some concern about pathogens growing in an organic medium around the base of the plant.

In the video we show Thad Metzger a High School Science teacher at Louisville High School helping us out by removing the soil from the union and seeing how we can through the winter. The variety he is working on is called Traminette. It is a French American Hybrid white grape well suited for Ohio. It is similar to a Gewurztraminer in many ways and makes a nice light, clean slightly sweet wine.

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