How to Care for Your Grapevines


Grapevines are hardy perennials that thrive in Mediterranean climates. Some varieties, like the red St. Croix and the white Prairie Star, are able to withstand cold climates. But most grapes do well in the mild wet winters and hot dry summers. Growing grapes in your garden is a simple pleasure; the small amount of effort required will be rewarded when the fruits ripen on the vine.

Step 1

Plant grapevines in a sunny area where the soil is sandy loam. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, dig in some peat moss and coarse sand to improve drainage.

Step 2

Grapes need 35 to 40 inches of water a year. Adjust the amount of water depending on the rainfall in your area. A drip system is best because it allows the soil to stay evenly moist.

Step 3

Remove developing grapes for the first year. This will encourage the plant to put its energy into creating a strong root system.

Step 4

Stop watering in late fall two to three weeks before the first frost date. The roots will suck up the excess water in the ground so that there is no standing water around the root system. If water is left in the ground, it will freeze and damage the roots.

Step 5

Prune heavily in early spring before the vine begins to put out new growth. You can take off up to 90 percent of the vine leaving the four strongest canes for the fruit to grow on. Tie the canes to a trellis structure using sting or wire.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip system water (optional)
  • Coarse sand (optional)
  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Trellis
  • Fertilizer (optional)


  • National Gardening Association: Care and Harvesting of Grapes
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Grapes for Home Use
Keywords: home fruit growing, growing grapes at home, grape growing climates

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.