Venus grapes are a hardy, fast-growing seedless grape variety that rivals the flavor of Concord and other table grapes. Venus grapes make good jam and juice, as well as a nutritious snack food for you and your family. The University of Arkansas developed the Venus grape in 1977. It produces a blue-black grape that ripens early with large bunches of juicy grapes. Venus grape vines are moderately hardy to damage from freezing temperatures, according to Cornell University. To be safe, grow them in regions with mild winters.
Test your soil. Venus grapes prefer a slightly alkaline or neutral soil pH between 7.0 and 8.0. If your soil measures more acidic (lower number) or more alkaline (higher number), you must correct it--add sulfur to lower your pH or hydrated lime to raise it. For every square yard of planting area, add at least 8 oz. of lime or 1.2 oz. of sulfur, according to The Garden Helper.
Plant your Venus grape vine in spring, after your final frost. Select an area with full sun and rich, well-drained soil. If you plant your grape vine against a fence or provide a trellis, the long canes that will develop over the summer will have good support.
Remove all weeds and other unwanted plants from the planting area and then dig a planting hole about twice as large as the rootball of your grape. Be careful not to disturb the roots when you remove your vine from its bare root bag. If your soil needs better drainage or if it is not rich in organic matter, dig in several cups of fine gravel, sand and compost of any type. Set your vine into the amended hole and then backfill with the soil mixture you dug out.
Drive a sturdy wooden or plastic plant stake into the ground several inches from the vine’s base and then tie your Venus grape vine to the stake with nursery tape or old nylon stocking strips.
Keep your Venus grapevine well watered, but never allow the soil to remain soggy.
Fertilize your Venus grape once in spring with a plant food having an N-P-K ratio of 10-20-20. Grapes also benefit if you mulch them with organic compost or well-rotted manure.
Prune your Venus grapevine during its winter dormant season. Cut off all damaged or diseased canes (vines) and leave about four healthy canes for next summer’s fruit production. You can trim up to 90 percent of all canes, making sure to cut them back to the main trunk.
Things You Will Need
- Soil test kit
- Sunny location
- Trellis or arbor
- Gravel or sand
- Plant stakes
- Nursery tape
- The University of Arkansas reports that the Venus grape is moderately resistant to fungal diseases but that fungicidal sprays are a good practice to prevent diseases of this type.