Grapes are surprisingly easy to grow. Lots of sunshine, a trellis on which to climb, and close attention to pruning sums up the plant's main requirements. New grapevines are generally started in spring and summer. A well-cared-for grapevine can produce up to 20 pounds of grapes a year and the vines can keep producing for 40 years, according to agriculturists with the University of Ohio. Proper care of the young grapevine will ensure that it produces well and for many years to come.
Shorten the newly planted vine to two buds while it is dormant. In its second year, if it has reached beyond the top wire of the trellis, trim it back to the wire.
Keep the area around the grapevines weed-free. Weeds compete with young grapevines for water and soil nutrients.
Clip suckers from the base of the vines.
Water young grapevines weekly if you flood them. If you use a drip system, water the vines bi-weekly. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Apply mulch around the base of the vines to keep the soil moist and the roots cool. Mulch also helps discourage the growth of weeds. Do not allow the mulch to touch the vines; keep it at least 2 inches from the bark.
Inspect the grapevines for signs of disease. Powdery mildew, while not a threat to the plant in its first season, will need to be controlled in subsequent seasons. Powdery mildew is caused by a fungus and appears as a white or gray coating, primarily on the leaves. Agriculturists with the University of California at Davis suggest dusting the vines with sulfur in the spring, when new growth is 1 inch long. Continue the applications every 10 days through June.
Attack pests at the first sign of an infestation. Large spots on the grapevine's leaves may be a sign of erineum mites. Use insecticidal soap in the spring to control these pests.