Care of Grapevine Plants

Overview

Two years after planting grapevines, grapes will be ready for harvesting. After three years, a vine may produce 15 lbs. of grapes annually, while some varieties produce double that amount. Grapes need a long growing season, free of frost and new vines require a spring planting. Select an area with plenty of sunshine, and well-draining soil.

Step 1

Begin training the new grapevine by staking two of its stronger canes, and removing suckers from the base of the canes.

Step 2

Cut the grapevine back to two buds the second year, if both of the strongest canes are less than 3 feet high. Remove the weakest cane in March.

Step 3

Prune once a year, when the grapevine is dormant, removing unwanted growth and as much old wood as possible.

Step 4

Water newer vines more frequently than older, established vines. Irrigate heavily in the winter and early spring, prior to growth, as the grapevine has deep roots. While grapevines are drought resistant, they like a moist soil. Drip irrigation is advised for some regions.

Step 5

Fertilize in the early spring, before the new growth begins, with the first fertilization two weeks after planting. Apply about 1 lb. of herbicide-free fertilizer. Test the soil every three years, to determine the soil's fertilizer needs. In some situations, gardeners only fertilize if foliage is a poor color.

Step 6

Weed around the base of the plant and apply 4 to 6 inches of mulch.

Step 7

Cover vines with netting, to protect the grape crop from birds.

Step 8

Allow the grapes to ripen on the vine.

Things You'll Need

  • Stake
  • Gardening shears
  • Straw mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • National Gardening: Grape
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Grapes for Home Use
  • New Mexico State University: Growing Grapes in New Mexico
Keywords: caring for grapevines, growing grapevines, grapevine gardening

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.