Scuppernongs (Vitis rotundifolia), commonly called muscadine grapes, have been grown for 400 years. Native Americans dried the grapes as a food source and Spanish settlers used them in the production of wine. Today, numerous cultivars offer ease of growth. The grape offers high disease resistance and suffers from few pests. Popular in the home garden. the scuppernongs grapes are used in home wines, juices and jellies and enjoyed as a sweet edible fruit. The grape plants do not grow well in areas where wintertime temperatures dip below 10 degrees F. Scuppernongs also require adequate summertime heat to produce large, juicy grapes.
Choose a location with well-draining soil. The scuppernong grape plant will not tolerate standing water around its root system. A soil pH of 5.8 and 6.5 is ideal.
Erect a trellis in the planting site prior to planting. Place two 8-foot poles 3 feet into the ground and spaced 7 feet apart. Set the pole using cement at the base to offer support. Run a wire between the poles along the top and another wire 3 feet below the first wire (as the grape plant grows taller, the lower wire is removed so there is only one wire remaining). Commercial grape trellises are also available at garden centers.
Plant potted 1-year-old scuppernong grape plants any time in the spring or summer, but plant bareroot scuppernong plants in the spring.
Prune away all grape stems but one vigorous stem. Dig a hole that is twice as large as the scuppernong plant's root system. Place the roots gently into the hole and cover with soil. Tamp the soil to remove all airpockets.
Fertilize the plant using 1/4-pound of 10-10-10 general purpose fertilizer. Sprinkle around the plant but do not allow it to touch the plant's stem.
Water the scuppernong grape plant thoroughly after planting. Allow the water to slowly dribble beside the plant to soak deeply into the soil.
Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the newly-planted grape plant using peat moss or bark chips. The mulch will help reduce weed growth.