Successfully growing grapes is a fairly simple process, but it is dependent upon several different things. Grapes of any kind require sunlight, a moderate amount of water, care, and patience. You will have a great deal more success, however, if you choose to buy a type of vine that is known to thrive in your specific climate. There are three basic families of grapes, wine grapes, table grapes, and slipskin grapes. Here is what you need to do to grow them.
Start by asking your local plant nursery professional what kind of grapes will grow best in your climate. Ask around if you want to get a few different people’s opinions. Some will prefer to live in warmer or cooler climates, so it’s a good idea to talk to a few experts before you buy your seeds. This is an important part of the process. Once you have chosen the kind of grapes that you want to plant, you will want to plant them from nursery stock or cuttings.
They should be in an area that gets full sun. This means that at no time during the day should a shadow pass over the area that you choose to plant them, unless of course it is a cloudy day. This is vital because the grape plant requires sunlight as its primary source of energy in order to grow. While it does depend on your chosen strain, all grapes require ample heating. Grape vines planted in the shade are also likely to get infections from certain strains of fungus.
Loosen the soil in the area so that it is fast draining. You should loosen the soil as deeply as is practically possible for you, because grape vines have very deep seated roots when they are full grown. Organic compost is ideal, because it contains all the nutrients that your grape vines will need in order to grow. It should be about three feet deep, two at a minimum.
The vines will need a support. Use a trellis or an arbor or grape stock. The purpose of this is to help prop the vines up. This is necessary because if the vines are grown under the right conditions they can become very rampant and weigh down on themselves. This also serves to keep the grapes out of the soil where they can sometimes be more susceptible to infections and rotting.
Prune the grape vines where they are dormant. That is, grapes only grow on stems that formed during the previous season. This wood is much smoother in appearance than the older wood, which has a ragged appearance. Trim off all of the shaggy stems to keep the plant healthy and controlled. You will need to remove the long runners in the middle of the growth season as well, before they grow out of control.
Grape vines, if chosen and cared for properly, will keep coming back for years to come. Having freshly grown grapes in your own backyard is a tremendously satisfying way to provide healthy treats for your family.