Grow your own grape vines

Grow your own grape vines
Grow your own grape vines
Grow your own grape vines: Grape vines need full sun all day, no matter the region you live in.
Vines also need a well-drained soil that is free of weeds and grass .
You do not want any competition for water and nutrients.

Planting grape vines:
Plant your grape vines in early spring, when you will find bare-root varieties available. As you plant, cut the existing root back to 6 inches. This will encourage feeder roots to grow near the trunk. The root system of a grapevine can grow deep, so well-cultivated soil is best.

Type:
Choose a type of grape.  As with any plant, certain types of grapes grow better in different areas and offer up different flavors and appearances.

There are three general types of grapes: American, European, and Muscadine grapes. American grapes grow best in warm, sunny climates like that of central California.

European grapes are common in Europe and Northern parts of the US, but can be grown anywhere, worldwide. Muscadine grapes are commonly found in the Southern US.

Within each general type of grapevine, there are multiple species to choose from which each offer up their own flavor, color, texture, and size.

Visit your local nursery to find one that fits your needs and environment.
Select plants that look healthy and strong, and are 1 year old.
Look for plants that have an even root distribution, and which canes are symmetrical.

Select a suitable location. Grapevines are long term plants that can live between 50 to 100 years.
Therefore, make sure that the location you select is a permanent one,  that will offer up plenty of room for future grapevines.

In cold areas be sure to plant the grapevines in a sunny area, preferably facing south.
A southern facing location may prevent frost nipping the vines.

Look for plants that have an even root distribution, and whose canes are symmetrical.

Prepare a trellis for your grapevines. Grapevines are, as the name implies, vine plants that grow upwards along a support structure. If you are not planting your grapes along a fence or other structure, construct or buy a trellis for them to grow along.

Latticed wood and wire can be purchased and attached to fence posts for an easy homemade trellis.
Provide solid support as vines can become very heavy.

Watering:
Give your plants a good watering. Grapevines do not prefer heavy water or rain, so after the first watering keep the amount of water you give them to a minimum.

Keep water near the roots so that the majority of it gets absorbed rather than evaporated by the sun.

Pruning:
Prune your grapevines. The first year, the grapevine should not be allowed to produce any fully matured fruits as these can damage the young vine with their weight.

Cut back all the fruit, as well as all the vines except for the strongest that branch off the cane.
In later years prune as needed following established local practices.
Older vines need to be pruned back to around 90% of their wood.

Always prune grapevines when they are dormant. They will otherwise bleed their sap – losing vigour.
This is typically in late winter when it is no longer cold enough to frost outside.

Pests and Diseases:
Apply pest control as needed. Little pest control is needed as grapevines are naturally hardy.
Keep weeds at bay by hand-weeding on a regular basis.

Cover you grapevines in bird net to keep birds away if necessary.
Seek guidance from your local gardening club or agricultural extension on how to combat the Vine Moth.
It is one of the few pests that can decimate grapevines.

Plant the grapevines so they receive enough airflow to prevent powdery mildew.
Aphids can be a problem for grapevines. Ladybugs are a natural consumer of aphids and will not damage your vines further.

Harvesting:
Harvest your grapes when they are ready to eat.
Edible fruit will likely not appear for anywhere from 1-3 years.
When it does appear, test its ripeness by picking a few grapes from different areas and tasting them.

If the grapes are sweet, start picking. They are now ready to eat.
Grapes will not continue to ripen after picking, as is the case with other fruits.
So be sure not to pick them prematurely.

Color and size are not necessarily a good indication of ripe fruit. Only pick the fruit after you’ve tasted it and are certain it is ready.

Enjoy the luxury of having a grapevine in your garden.
MyAlberton

 Grow your own grape vines

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