Grapes are a fun food to eat. Growing grapevines at home can yield annual harvests for years if the vines are planted and maintained properly. Grapevines require lots of sun, water and space to grow. Grapevines can also be used as ornamental landscaping for porches and along fencing. The base of the vines can become thick and woody, measuring several inches in diameter.
Locate an area where full sun reaches the ground at least six hours per day. Pick a spot of well-drained soil with at least 2 square feet for each vine. Use an area where the vine can have a north-south facing to gain the most of sunlight and heat. Using the 2 square feet measurement per vine, determine the total area required for the number of vines you want. Plan for a large area if you are planting multiple grape vines. Grapevines need spacing of 5 to 8 feet between each other. Use a spacing of 9 feet between rows.
Set stakes at each exterior corner of the total area being used. This will give you either a rectangle or square depending on the pattern you are planting in. Tie string around one stake. Pull the string tight to the next stake. Loop the string around the stake. Continue the process to each remaining stake. Tie the string off at the original stake. This gives you a boundary guide to dig up the soil.
Use the rototiller inside the boundary to dig up the soil to a depth of 1 foot. This ensures the rootball has enough room to be set and grow. This also gives you enough room to add fertilizer to amend the soil to the proper pH level. Grapevines need a pH range of 5.0 to 5.5. Use the test kit to determine the current pH level of the soil. Add fertilizer such as pine straw or mulch to bring the soil to the proper level. Rototill the fertilizer into the soil.
Set the grapevines at the spots you want to plant them. Remove the packing material from the roots. If the roots came in a planter, remove the roots from the planter. Wash off the roots. Wrap the bare roots in the plastic bags for two hours. This gives you time to prepare the area.
Dig a hole for each vine to the depth of the rootball. Remove the plastic bag. Put the rootball into the hole. Spread out the roots to fill the hole. Fill the remaining space with 1 cup fertilizer, two handfuls of composted material and the remaining soil from the hole. Add small amounts of water while filling the hole to eliminate air pockets. Tamp down the soil around the vine.
Cut the vine down to one or two leaf buds above the soil line. Add 1 inch of mulch around the vine. Keep the mulch from touching the plant to avoid fungus problems.
Water the ground until the soil is moist. Keep the ground wet as grapevines need lots of water.