Muscadine grapes are native to the Southeastern United States and can be found growing wild throughout the region. They are sensitive to cold weather and cannot be grown where the temperature falls below 10 degrees F. Muscadine grapes are popular with gardeners because they are fairly disease resistant, have large, flavorful berries, and produce an abundant yield. One muscadine vine can produce up to 35 pounds of grapes, compared to 8 pounds for a vine of bunch-type grapes.
Test your soil to determine its pH level. Testing kits are usually available at your local cooperative extension office. Muscadine grapes prefer to grow in a well-draining, acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 to 6.5. If your soil has a higher pH level, augment your soil before you plant your muscadine grapes with organic material or sulfur.
Dig a hole that is approximately 8 inches deep by 6 to 8 inches wide for your muscadine plant. If you are planting more than one, space your holes 20 to 24 feet apart. If your soil is dry when you dig your hole, fill it with water and let the water absorb into the soil before planting. Your muscadine needs to be planted at the same depth as it was in the pot. Planting it too shallow will result in your plant having a weak root system.
Water your muscadine grape plant immediately after planting, then once a week to keep the soil moist. Muscadine grape plants grow best when the soil is moist but not water-logged or soggy. Use a drip irrigation system so there will be less likelihood of disease or pests from wet foliage.
Fertilize your muscadine grapes using a 10-10-10 formula. The fertilizer should be spread in a circle around the vine, 6 to 18 inches away from the base. Be careful not to get fertilizer on the vine itself; that may damage your muscadine. Newly planted muscadine plants should be fertilized with 1/2 pound of fertilizer in April, with another 1/2 pound feeding two weeks later. Established muscadine grape plants should be fertilized once a year in March, using the calculation of 1 pound of fertilizer for every year of growth.
Train your muscadine grape vine by selecting one strong shoot of a young plant and tying it to a support stake, using a plastic tie. The support stake can be wood, plastic or bamboo.
Trim off all other shoots from the vine.
Erect a grape trestle by placing in the ground two wooden posts, 20 to 24 feet apart, one on each side of your muscadine grape vine. Attach a line of trestle wire to one post and tightly stretch it across to the other. This becomes the grape trestle your muscadine vine will grow on.
Use plastic ties to attach your muscadine grape vine along the stretched wire of your trestle when the main shoot has grown about 6 inches above the trestle wire. Select two lateral shoots that are growing in opposite directions to tie to the trestle wire. After you have secured the lateral shoots, trim off the main shoot to encourage the growth of the lateral shoots.
About this Author
At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and web content for several well known marketeers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and A Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.