How to Raise Concord Grapes

Overview

Concord grape vines are an American variety of grape vine that are prized for their dark-colored, richly-sweet grapes. They are used in juices, jams, pies and desserts. Concord grapes are the most popularly planted grape vine east of the Rockies, according to the University of Minnesota. With care and maintenance, once established, concord grape vines can produce up to 20 pounds of grapes per vine in early-to middle-fall.

Step 1

Cultivate the planting area prior to planting the concord grape vines using a shovel, a garden fork or a rototiller. Work the soil to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. When choosing a planting location, make sure it's in full sun and preferably on the south side of buildings or on south-facing slopes, as recommended by the University of Minnesota.

Step 2

Remove all weeds and their roots from the planting area, as well as all rocks and sticks. If the soil in the planting area is heavy or clay-like, lay out a 2 to 3 inch layer of well-aged sawdust, manure or compost. Then, work the amendment into the soil thoroughly.

Step 3

Set each of the bare root concord grape vines into a bucket or basin of water to soak for about 30 minutes. This helps plump up the roots if they have been allowed to dry out.

Step 4

Dig planting holes for the bare root vines spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. Make sure each planting hole is both wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots of the grape. If you are planting the vines near a fence, or trellis, Sunset Plant Finder suggests spacing the planting hole about 1-1/2 feet away from the structure.

Step 5

Remove the vines from the bucket of water. Snip off any broken or damaged roots on each vine. Cut back all the top growth, or canes, except for the strongest-appearing cane. Snip the remaining cane back to about 6 inches.

Step 6

Set a vine into the dug hole, and carefully spread out its roots. Make sure you aren't planting it deeper than it was previously growing. Scoop garden soil in and around the roots of the grape to fill the planting hole.

Step 7

Water each of the concord grape vines thoroughly. Once the concord grape vines start growing, apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 each spring. In the first year, dilute the strength by 1/4. Increase the amount by 1/4 each year until the fourth year of growth when you can use the fertilizer full strength.

Things You'll Need

  • Concord grape vines
  • Shovel, garden fork or rototiller
  • Sawdust, manure or compost
  • Bucket
  • Snips
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Sunset's Plant Finder: Grapes
  • Ohio State University: Growing Grapes in the Home Garden
  • The University of Minnesota: Growing Grapes
Keywords: growing concord grape vines, planting and growing concord grapes, how to grow concord grapes

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.