Grape plants are warm-weather vines grown for several different purposes. Use grapes for making wine, or juice, for eating raw or drying. They can also be grown for ornamental purposes and make good shade plants when planted on a trellis or arbor. Grapes vines are a high-yield fruit; a single vine can produce as much as 25 to 30 pounds of fruit, depending on the variety. The best time of year for planting a grape vine is in early spring, as soon as the soil in your garden is soft enough to work.
Decide where you are going to plant the grape. Successful grape vines requires lots of heat and sunshine. The ideal location will provide maximum sunshine, 10 or more hours a day. If in doubt, plant the grape vine on a south-facing slope or along the south side of a building.
Cultivate the soil in the area approximately 12 to 14 inches deep.
Amend the soil in the planting area to improve drainage and fertility. For soil that drains too quickly, such as sandy porous soils, mix in 1 cubic foot of compost or peat moss for every 1 square yard in the planting site. Mix in 1 cubic foot of perlite or coarse sand if the soil tends to be heavy and has poor drainage.
Dig a planting hole three times the width of the container or root system if planting a bare-root grape vine, and approximately its same depth.
Remove the grape vine from its growing container, if planting a container grown grape. Flip the container right side down. Lay your hand on top of its root system while you wiggle the container free.
Cut back all of the canes of the grape plant to leave the hardiest appearing cane. If there are any broken or very long roots, cut those back as well. If you are planting a bare-root grape vine, set the roots of the grape into a bucket that contains about 3 or 4 inches of water. Let the root system soak up the water for about 1 hour before planting.
Place the grape vine into the planting hole. Place a few shovel fulls of soil into the planting hole to set the grape securely in the hole. Plant the grape at the same level it was growing at previously. This is usually indicated by a grayish line at the base of the plant where the root system meets the stem.
Fill the planting hole with water and allow it to drain. Fill the planting hole full of soil, packing it down firmly as you go. Cut back the remaining cane down to two buds, as suggested by Emily Hoover, Extension Horticulturist and Peter Hemstad, assistant scientist, at the University of Minnesota Extension.