Merlot grapes are a popular variety throughout the entire world, for their soft, full-bodied wine and delicious bold flavor. They are grown in several countries, from Chile to the United States to Italy. Merlot grapevines ripen early, can be planted in poor soil, and can be easily sold and harvested so they are a popular choice for landscapes and gardens.
Preparing to Plant the Merlot Grapevines
Purchase dormant merlot rooted cuttings that are certified to make sure they are free of disease.
Prepare your soil in the fall season. Do this by enacting a pH test on your soil to make sure it has the proper balanced amount of nutrients. Take care of any weed problems with herbicides.
Slip plow your future merlot vineyard space. Remove any dirt clods or rocks from the soil.
Sketch a diagram of your proposed vineyard. You can decide to plant several merlot grapevines, or just a two to three. When picking a place to plant them, help them get maximum sunshine by positioning them in a north-south orientation. Keep at least seven feet in between each grapevine with at least nine feet in between rows. Dig the holes with a shovel, about two feet deep.
Planting the Merlot
Plant the merlot grapevines in spring season after the last frost. Keep the roots damp until you have them in the ground.
Prune each merlot grapevine so there is just one cane with two buds on it.
Set the plants into the ground so the base of the grapevine is level with the ground (fill in the hole with more soil if necessary).
Firmly pack the soil around the vine. Water each plant with 2 to 4 gallons of water right away after planting. Insert a wooden stake into the ground right next to the grapevine in order to train it as it grows.
Apply 10-10-10 fertilizer to the merlot grapevines seven days after planting. Use about eight ounces per grapevine.
About this Author
Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.