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How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet vine?

Posted by TheoryOfGravity CA 9a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 21:57


I did a lot of research and found my Cabernet grape vine needs gravelly (quartz based) substrate, with a clay base. The roots go deep through the gravelly dirt part to get to the nutrients below. The clay drains but also retains moisture. I have a perfect all-day sunny spot and a proportionately taller pot to put it in.

But how on earth (pun!) do I make gravelly soil with clay? In your long container gardening experience, how would you do this?

Can you put it in paint-by-numbers terms? I'm stuck on the actual parts I need and how to put it in. I guess I will be getting things from the building materials dept at the home stores.


ps. If the vine already has tiny grapes all over it, should I wait until season's end to repot it? Or is now fine?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet vine?

I don't know of anyone who would recommend clay for container soil no matter how much gravel is added. I have the ideal soil for grapes here in wine country, but it would not be ideal in a container. Al

RE: How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet vine?

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 16:00

what Al said. I think it would be futile to try to recreate ideal vineyard soil in a container.

RE: How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet

Ok, thanks everybody! I was beginning to think clay would not be so great either. I spent a ton of time digging deeper (pun!) last night and came across what everyone seems to have been abuzz about for years here: Al's Gritty Mix. However, since there are probably literally a hundred threads only referencing it, I'm having a hard time actually finding it!!!! When I find it eventually, I'll post it here for anyone in the future doing the same. (ok, found it... below)

If anyone knows... is it better to repot when it goes dormant? It's in a 5 gal container and almost 6 feet tall with tons of grapes longer than an inch, maybe 1.5'.

Or is it OK to do it now?

Here is a link that might be useful: What is this Al's gritty mix?

This post was edited by TheoryOfGravity on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 22:31

RE: How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet vine?

It is much better for the grapes if you repot when they are dormant. Al

RE: How to concoct "gravel with clay base" for cabernet vine?

Thanks, Al. I kinda wanted to read that. I'm not really into spending my entire days gathering all the gritty mix ingredients in a hurry. That, and my attention is split amongst other late spring garden duties.


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