Growing grapevines in the home garden provides quality fruit for many uses, from juice and jellies to wine-making. Proper planting and pruning techniques will keep grapevines producing for many years. The best fruit production starts when the grapes are in their fourth or fifth year of growth.
Determine the use for the grapes you are choosing to grow. Different varieties are grown for different uses. A multipurpose grape, like Steuben, produces a good table grape that can be used for wine making. Select a grape based on use that produces well in your growing area.
Plant in a site which receives full sunlight for at least 8 hours per day. The soil must provide good drainage and be free from weeds. Add a 10-10-10 fertilizer throughout the entire growing area and till to a depth of at least 12 inches. Dig a large enough hole so you can easily spread out the roots when planting the grapevines.
Plant the grapevines in early spring so they establish a healthy root system before the growing season ends. Plant root stock 6 to 8 feet apart in rows running north and south, according to Oregon State University, to ensure that the grapevines receive the full benefits of the sun. Drive a support stake into the ground near the trunk of each grapevine. This stake is the start of the support trellis for the vines.
Prune the newly planted grapevines back to a single cane which contains two buds. The two buds will grow into canes. Water the grapevines daily until they become established in the vineyard. Allow the grapevines to grow vigorously throughout the growing season.
Top off the grapevine trunk with mulch the first season to get ready for winter, and remove any suckers growing from the main trunk. Prune the grapevines in the fall, each consecutive year, to create either a 2- or 4-cane growing system. Prune each cane back to two shoots and secure them to the trellis. Grapes are produced during the following year's growth.