Grape plants are grown for ornamental purposes and fruit production. Grapes can be consumed raw, made into jellies, juices, raisins, wines and various liquors. Grape vines are hardy and fairly easy to grow, and numerous grape cultivars exist. Some cultivars make excellent wines and other cultivars are ideal for raw fruit consumption or juices. Grapes vines grow white, red or green fruit. Some varieties have seeds and others are seedless. In an ideal setting grape vines can live and thrive for hundreds of years. Once planted it can take several years before the first harvest of grapes can be achieved.
Choose a sunny location to plant the grape plants. The ideal setting is a southern facing slope which provides sufficient sunlight and also offers warmer growing conditions that are less likely to frost in the spring. Plant grape plants in rows that flow north to south to provide each plant with additional light for optimum growth.
Plant grape vines in an area that offers excellent drainage. Make sure the area does not accumulate any spring run off. Grapes require good drainage to grow well. The plants do not like heavy clay based soil. Soil that retains excessive amounts of water will cause grape plants to suffer root rot and perish.
Till the soil where the grape vines are to be planted thoroughly and make sure all weeds are removed. If the soil is heavy with clay then work sawdust, peat moss or cow manure in at a ratio of fifty percent garden soil mixed with fifty percent organic material. Work the soil to a depth of at least one foot.
Plant grape plants in the early spring after soil thaws. Look over the roots of the grape plant and prune away any that are broke or dead using a pair of garden pruning shears. All canes on the grape plant should be pruned back to only two buds before planting.
Dig a well-rounded hole that allows the roots to comfortably spread out when the grape plant is set within it. Roots should never be bent or crowded. Cover the roots with several inches of soil. Firm the soil down with your hands and water thoroughly.
Space plants from between six feet to nine feet apart. Each cultivar will require different space requirements between specimens. If unsure of the exact space requirement of the cultivars that are being planted then be cautious and plant each one nine feet apart.
Construct a trellis system once the grape vines begin to grow and flourish. Some varieties will not require a trellis until the second year and others will need a trellis the first year. A trellis can be handmade or purchased from local garden centers.