Growing a grape vine involves some work and effort but can also be a lot of fun. As a home grower, it is important to know the steps you need to take in order to have a thriving, successful grape vineyard. Here’s a step-by-step guide to growing a grape vine.
Deciding what grape you want to grow
Since there are many different grape varieties you can grow, think of what you want to use the grapes for. Maybe you want to grow table grapes, for example. Or perhaps you want to grow grapes to make wine. Not all grape varieties work well as table grapes or to make wine, so it’s best to decide what you want now so you can choose the right variety to grow.
Some of the more popular grape varieties used in making table grapes include the Thompson Seedless, the Flame and the Muscat. Wine grape varieties include Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Syrah and Chenin Blanc. Another popular variety is the Concord, which can be used both as table grapes and to make wine. It is also widely used to make grape juice, jelly and candies.
Another thing that you need to think about is the climate of your area and which grape varieties grow well in your climate. Generally, grapes are quite adaptable, especially the hybrid varieties, which can grow even in cold climates. If you’re just starting out though, it’s probably best to choose a variety that is known for thriving in the area.
Acquiring a grape vine
When you’ve decided on the grape you want to grow, it’s time to acquire some grape vines or cuttings. Go to your local agricultural center or nursery and ask if they have the grape vines you want. You can also ask local vintners who are likely to have grape cuttings for sale. You can also do a search on-line, where many people advertise the vines they’re selling.
Planting a grape vine
When the growing season is here, usually in early spring after the frost, it’s time to plant your cuttings. Choose a spot in your yard that gets good sunlight, air circulation and good drainage. Make a hole in the soil around two to three feet deep. Plant the vine, making sure not to cover the buds on the cuttings. Pat the soil lightly to displace any air pockets. Plant the grape vines at least six to eight feet apart to ensure they have enough space for their roots to establish good anchorage.
Caring for the growing grape vine
Make sure that your soil is kept moist. Water the plant regularly but not too often. Prune the grape vines at least once a year, to ensure a healthy harvest. Construct a trellis system to support the vine’s growth.
Growing a grape vine isn’t really difficult. In two to three years, your time, patience and effort will be rewarded as your grape vines finally bear fruit and you will be able to do your first harvest. Sooner than you think, you will be enjoying yummy table grapes, or perhaps be sipping delicious wine made from your very own grapes.