Winegrowers Supplies  -  Planting by laser-guided or GPS-guided machines

  I can arrange machine planting of larger vineyards, 2000+ vines according to location.

     

To make an enquiry:  please e-mail Derek@winegrowers.info

Here are some notes on the procedure involved:-

1. Soil preparation: before machine planting it is essential that the field is completely even (i.e. not ridged) and that there are no grass clumps in the soil. There would be an additional charge of 0.08 Euros per vine if the planting team have to re-rotovate the soil ahead of the planting machine, as this slows their speed.

2. All of the vines I supply are top-pruned and double-waxed, and have the roots cut ready for planting. The roots must always be kept moist, if necessary they can be stood in water for 24 hours before planting.   More detailed information on vine preparation.

It's important to have all the vines ready in the sequence you want them planted, and control this yourself, don't leave it to the planters.
Keep a note of which varieties/clones/rootstocks are in each row.
Don't take the vines out too early and allow the roots to dry out.

3. The machines can plant up to 20,000 vines per day. The machine cuts a deep slot through the soil, places/inserts each vine at the exact distance from the previous, and finally pushes/firms the soil back around the vines. The planting team carry everything with them, you just need to mark the positions of the first and last vines in the end row, and to tell them the exact distance required between rows and between vines in the row. The minimum number of vines they will plant in a row is about 50; shorter rows would need to be planted by hand.

If the slope is steep then planting has to be from the top of the field to the bottom. Normally (when it is dry) they then reverse the tractor from the bottom to the top of the hill. If it is very wet they have to drive around the vineyard and start again from the top. For this reason there needs to be enough headland/space around the vineyard edge to move their tractor. With a steep slope, vines should always be planted up-and-down the slope, not on a cross-slope; rows do not have to be oriented exactly North-South.

With the laser-guided planting machine there is a maximum distance of 1.5 metres between vines in the row. They also have a GPS-machine, where any inter-vine distance is possible; however, they won't use the GPS-machine for smaller vineyards which are a long way away from each other; they use the GPS-machine only for planting more than 10,000 vines.

It is possible to plant high-stem vines by machine, but the planting cost is 0.08 Euros per vine more due to the extra work involved.

4. Very soon after planting the black-plastic mulch should be laid over the rows of vines.

5. Then the vine support poles (galvanised-steel or bamboo) are pushed into the soil close to each vine.

6. Rabbit guard nets can then be placed over each vine/cane and the bottoms secured.

7. Later the trellis should be installed, with at least the main training wire, which the canes are then clipped to; special clips are available for this.

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