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How to Start Grape Vines From Cuttings

Whether you want to grow grape vines for the fruit they will provide or for their decorative qualities, cuttings are an easy way to get started. There are several types of cuttings that you can start, including hardwood, green and dormant. Dormant cuttings are generally the easiest to root. Plan on taking your cutting in the spring, when the vine has lost its leaves but the buds have not yet started to swell.

Locate a shoot from which to take your cutting. It should be from wood produced by the plant in the last growing season. Try to find a shoot that is at least 3/4-inch thick and has a number of buds close together. You will need a shoot that is 12 to 18 inches long.

Cut diagonally, immediately below a bud. This will be the bottom of your cutting. Cut the top 1/2 inch above a bud, with a straight cut, so that you can tell the difference between the top and the bottom of the cutting.

Wrap the cutting in moist sphagnum peat moss, then place it into a black plastic bag. This procedure will cause the cutting to form a callus, which is required in order for it to root.

Place the bagged cutting in an area that remains 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, (such as the top of the refrigerator) and allow it to stay there for two weeks, or until you see a callus around the base of the cutting and small roots appear.

Prepare the planting area, in a sunny part of your yard, by digging up the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Turn the soil and crush any large clumps and remove any debris. Add a 2-inch layer of compost and mix it in well with the existing soil. Level the bed and water it well.

Plant the cutting, by burying it, diagonally-cut end down, into the soil, up to half its length. Make sure there are at least four bud nodes underground. If not, bury it deeper.

Give the grape cutting at least one inch of water a week.

Feed the cutting, for the first time, when it has reached six inches in new growth. A balanced fertilizer, such as 16-16-16, mixed according to label directions, should be applied weekly until mid-summer. Then, stop all watering and feeding to allow the vine to go dormant before the weather turns cold.

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