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Growing & Tending Grapevines

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Growing & Tending Grapevines

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Overview

Growing grapes, whether for wine, jelly or just for fresh fruit, requires a commitment from the grower. Grapes planted this year will take three years to produce the first harvest and five years or more to be in full production. During that time, the grapes and vines will require tending and care.

Step 1

Select the type of grape stock plants you wish to grow. For wines, specialty grape stock is available. For all-purpose grapes, Concord grapes grow, and are available, in most parts of the country.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as large as the root ball of the grape stock.

Step 3

Center the root ball of the grape plant in the hole. Gently spread the root limbs evenly in the hole.

Step 4

Backfill the hole with the removed dirt. Water the grape plant until water stands for one minute on the soil surface. Add more removed soil to make it level with the surrounding area.

Step 5

Create wire cages to surround the grape plants by cutting woven wire into rectangles and then bending into a circle. Join the ends together by bending the cut wire over the wire at the opposite end. Place wire cages around the newly planted grape vines to deter deer and other pests.

Step 6

Insert a 6-foot plant stake, 6 inches away from the newly planted grape stock. Bury the stake at least 1 foot into the ground.

Step 7

Surround the base of the grape stock with 1 to 3 inches of pine bark or other mulch.

Step 8

Tie the grape vine to the plant stake when it reaches 8 to 12 inches in length. You will continue to tie the vine to the stake every 3 to 4 inches, as it grows taller.

Step 9

Tie a wooden crosspiece to the stake in the ground, approximately 6 inches from the top in the second year of growth. The cross pieces can be a 6-foot stake cut in half. Use string or wire to secure the crosspiece.

Step 10

Tie the vines that grow off the primary vine to the crosspiece using plant tape. Allow the plant to grow for the summer season.

Step 11

Prune the grape vines back in the fall, leaving only one primary, central vine, and one vine attached to each side of the cross piece.

Step 12

Continue to train the vines to the stake and cross pieces as the years pass. Mulch the grapes yearly to hold in needed moisture. Check the specific recommendations for the variety you have planted for fertilizer or other special needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Grape stock
  • Shove
  • Welded wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 6-foot tall plant stakes
  • Mulch
  • String or wire
  • Garden shears

References

  • Washington State University: Growing Wine Grapes (PDF)
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Grapes in the Home Fruit Planting
  • "Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening"; The Editors of Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine; 1975
Keywords: growing grapes, training grapes, grapevine cultivation

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.

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