There’s more to planting grapes than just digging the soil and watering. You need to determine the variant that is suitable for your location. Consult the County Extension service to know the most apt types you can grow.
The ideal place to grow them is on a north to south axis. This orientation allows the vines to receive maximum sunlight. A majority of the variants have growing seasons of 180 days. Other types have longer seasons, and some much shorter.
The soil must be loamy. It must have very good drainage. The pH level needs to be between 5 and 5.5. When planting grapes, avoid using soil that is too sandy. Keeping the moisture in is critical.
But don’t let the soil hold in too much water. Excessive draining should be avoided too. Get rid of the weeds with some mulch or pine needles.
Note: you can eliminate the need for more fertilizers by adding a sod walkway. Place this in between the rows. By fertilizing the grass, the vines will also receive the nutrients.
Allocate 6 to 8 ft of space for each plant. The rows need to be spaced 10 to 12 ft apart. You can space them 5 ft apart, but that’s the minimum level. Setting the plants closer will produce unacceptable results. Water the vines once a week 30 days after planting. As it grows, moderate watering will be sufficient.
Caring for Young Grapes
Those new to planting grapes need to know young grapes like humid weather. These can be kept outside as long as the climate is above freezing. Get them used to hot weather by sun exposure, little by little. The acclimation period is about two weeks.
Pruning ensures good sized grapes coming forth. Not pruning won’t kill the plant, but the grapes will be much smaller. It helps if you use wires or trellis, as it will provide a sense of structure and shape.
Use wire trellis with 4×4 posts (wood). The wire needs to be stretched along the posts. Use vise wire clamps to fasten the wire in place.
While you are planting grapes, hold on to the one year old canes on either side. You’ll know it’s young because it’ll be glossy and with a brown bark. The two year old canes are cracked. Pruning is best performed in late winter and / or onset of spring.
Pruning also helps maintain the fruit quality. The greater the yield the lower the quality, so snipping is crucial. Leave at least a dozen renewal spurs on both trunk sides. This should be at the 1st or 2nd wire points.
Coping with Problems
You can use flash tape to hold the birds at bay. Netting may also be effective. To prevent fungi from appearing, keep the garden clean and with lots of sunshine. Cut the leaves to facilitate air flow. Remove all infected fruits.
Planting grapes will give you plenty to drink and eat. It can also be used for crafts as well, making it a welcome addition to any garden.
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