Grape vines provide lush foliage in the spring and fruit in the summer and fall. Grape vines are an excellent choice for a wall or trellis covering, as they are easy to train and adapt well to their environment. For optimal harvest and growth in the home garden, grapes do best in hardiness zones 4 through 8.
Select a cultivar designed for your specific region. If you are unsure of your region’s cultivar, contact your local county extension office and they can recommend the optimal cultivars.
Plant your grape vines in early spring, spacing them 4 feet apart if you will train them to an arbor, and 8 feet apart if you will train them to a trellis. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the plant’s container. Fill the hole with water and let it drain completely. Place the grape vine in the hole and backfill with dirt. Cover the hole with mulch if you live in a particularly dry area.
Water and fertilize the plant during its first growing season and lightly prune the vines by removing any dead growth and pruning back all top growth to one cane. The first round of 10-10-10 fertilizer should be applied to the vines one week after planting. During this first application, apply 8 oz. of fertilizer per vine.
Tie the grape vines to a stake their first year to keep them off the ground.
Secure the vines to an arbor or trellis during the second growing season by using wire ties to secure the canes to the new support system.
Apply 1 lb. fertilizer during the vine’s second year and prune in late winter after the threat of frost has passed, but before the vine begins budding.
Weed the beds consistently to avoid competing plants.
Fertilize with 1 1/2 lbs. during the third year and all subsequent years. Continue training and pruning. Fruit should form by the third year.