An urban vineyard is nothing more than a vineyard to use that is planted in a reduced place, so all its needs (water, nutritional, etc.), its diseases and its management are very similar to if it were located in the open field, with the specific caveats of living on a roof instead of in the country.
1- What is an urban vineyard?
The urban vineyard is a new concept that combines the growing interest in the cultivation of the vine and its adaptation to small urban spaces.
The rusticity of the vine allows its existence in numerous agroclimatic settings , so the presence of cars or buildings should not be a limiting factor for its survival.
The set of plants that can be grown on surfaces such as parks or gardens do not require more care than if they were far from the city.
It will be necessary to pay special attention to the type of soil , to ensure its fertilization, its sanitary condition and that its position allows maximum insolation.
2- Can a vineyard be planted on a terrace? How to plant a potted vine.
Another issue is trying to put an urban vineyard on a terrace or roof terrace , where the available space is even smaller and there is no deep soil where the root system of the vine can be fully developed.
Like a vineyard located in the middle of the field , the orientation that optimizes the exposure of the plants to the sun should be sought: north-south orientation in not sunny areas, and east-west where the insolation is excessive and can be harmful to the plants. .
3- Capacity of the urban container and peat mixture.
As there is no deep soil and good drainage must also be achieved, the plants should be placed in pots with a minimum capacity of 50 liters with a depth of at least 40 cm.
Small stones will be placed in the lower part of the pot to ensure drainage.
The composition of the soil will be 1/3 peat, 1/3 field topsoil and 1/3 sand, providing, when necessary, more soil and sand in later years.
It is important to leave a sufficient separation between pots to allow the correct development of each plant.
The soil where the pots are placed will have a sufficient slope so that the excess water from the irrigation runs to a drain.
4- Plant material plant a potted vine.
It is advisable to obtain a graft plant with the root formed in barber nurseries , as this ensures the grip of the plant, as well as the advantages of sanitary and varietal certification.
The grafted plant will be planted from mid-December to spring, before sap movement.
5- Potted vine care. The formation of the strain.
The first two or three years of the plant’s life will seek its formation.
Although almost any conduction system could be valid, due to the difficulty of assembling the wires to form a trellis, and the horizontal surface that a vessel occupies, one of the most suitable conduction systems is the sprawl system.
It is a semi-free conduction that simulates the vine like a tree, occupying its largest vertical surface.
It must be taken into account that in this conduction system the sun exposure of the bunches is similar to that of the conduction in glass and less than the trellis.
From the third or fourth year, the first well-formed bunches will be obtained.
6- Subscribers of the urban vineyard.
To achieve greater vegetative development, it is advisable, in the first years, to provide balanced NPK fertilizers , but mainly with higher nitrogen contributions, during the first three years, then a complex that has very little Nitrogen.
You can get more information in our section on subscribing to the vineyard .
7- The most common diseases of the vineyard.
The most common diseases that can affect the vineyard are powdery mildew, mildew, red spider or rot.
It would be advisable to have sulfur, copper and a commercial antifungal that attacks botrytis.
You can expand information in our section on pests and diseases of the vine.
8- The irrigation system.
As in any roof or terrace the contribution of sufficient rainwater for the development of the plants is not guaranteed , it is recommended, if possible, to install a drip irrigation; if this is not possible, they can be watered manually.
The vine needs a minimum of 300 liters of water per year per m2 of surface.
It will be necessary to see what is the volume of the pots , and according to this calculate the amount of water to contribute, taking into account if it is going to receive rainwater, if the insolation and the temperature that the roof reaches are high or low.
The most advisable thing is to water twice a week during the first year, being attentive to possible symptoms of the plants in terms of excess or deficit of water.
From November to April , the vine needs less water input than the rest of the time, intensifying its needs in the summer months. In later years the waterings will be distanced to a weekly watering.
9- Material necessary for the management of the vineyard.
In addition to all the material for the establishment of the vineyard, such as:
- soil or substrate,
- phytosanitary products,
- irrigation installation material,
It will also be necessary to have enough material for the vineyard management itself:
- one-handed scissors,
- two-handed scissors,
- strong stakes of about 2 m. tall to direct the trunk of the vine,
- tying machine,
- mask to apply phytosanitary products, etc.