A Beginners Guide To Growing Grapes

by Bill C. Murphy - Date: 2010-08-20 - Word Count: 784 Share This!

Growing grapes is easy but knowing how to grow grapes with tons of delicious fruit is quiet difficult. If you want to plant grapes and be successful with it, you must know the basic guide to growing grapes. Just like any other plant, grapes need your attention and basic care to grow healthy and reproduce. I will share with you the basic steps on how to grow grapes.

The very first step is to choose the right variety for your soil and climate. When choosing your variety will also need to consider the use of the grapes. Some varieties are grown for eating and others are for making wine. Growing grapes for wine is commonly referred to as viticulture. Grapes require fertile soil, ample sunlight, a good location, and excellent drainage. The amount of sunlight received will determine the sugar content of the grapes and which will vary depending on the type you want to plant. If you are uncertain which variety is right for you, the best way to find out is to consult a local nursery to help you select a variety suitable to your needs and location. When preparing your location make sure it is not near trees or structures that can block sunlight and prevent air circulation.

After you have selected the type of grape you are going to grow and the area is prepared appropriately. You will now need to purchase your grapevines. It is very important to never let the roots dry out. So if you cannot plant the vines as soon as you get them, place the roots in a bucket of water and soak them over night. But remember, don't soak them for longer than 24 hours or they will begin to root. If you must wait to plant, you may dig a shallow trench and place the roots in this until they are planted.

The next step is to plant the grapevines. When planting the grapevines, place the plants at least 8-10 feet apart in rich, well-drained soil so they will have plenty of room to grow. Plant your vines in rows for best airflow and maximum sunlight. Grapevines thrive in sandy or rocky soil. While you are planting, carry your vines in a bucket of water. The roots of a single vine can extend 3-6 feet from the base of the plant. Proper drainage is a key component in growing grapes. Keep the roots moist for the first month until they settle in. This will help the roots establish themselves so they can grow and produce healthily.

Taking care of the vine is essential to growing healthy grapevines that will bear good fruit. Check the leaves in the first couple of years as your grapes grow. If they are dark green and healthy this means they are receiving enough nutrients. Use compost around the base to improve the quality of the soil. This will also add valuable nutrient for healthy growth.

Train your grapevine on a trellis. This can be made from wood, wrought iron, or PVC with wire strung across it. It is sometimes difficult to get the young vines pointed in the right direction. Sometime you have to move the trellis during the first season to get them going where you want them to grow. It is easier to maintain when they are trained in the right direction. Pruning will also help to train your vines to trellis. There are many tips to pruning your vines to get the best fruit from them. Trim lateral shoots, because in general they are not fruitful. Prune more heavily in the first few years so that the vine will be encouraged to grow. Prune off damaged buds. It is important to prune the vines to encourage them to trellis and allow maximum sunlight and airflow. This will also affect the size and the number of grapes each vine produces.
Protect your grapevines from pest, such as insects, birds, mildew, and fungus. Birds will try to eat ripe fruit. Nets would be a great idea to help protect the grapes, especially when it gets close to harvest time. There are several organic based products on the market today to help control both insects and fungus.

The last step is of course harvesting the grapes. Harvest your grapes when the bottom and middle of the cluster are ripe. Color and taste determine whether the fruit is ripe. There are also testing kits available to test sugar levels and PH or determine if it is ripe. In picking your grapes, use sharp shears to trim the clusters and minimize damage.

It really takes time and dedication to grow grapes. These steps will serve as a guide for a healthy and rewarding grapes growing experience.

Related Tags: grapes, growing grapes, grape trellis, grape growing guide, planting grapes, pruning grapes, harvesting grapes

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