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How To Grow Grapes

Vitis vinifera

grape vines

Everybody loves to grow grapes. These deciduous climbing vines have attractive foliage but most importantly clusters of tasty fruit. They are fast growing and excellent for covering a trellis, arbor, pergola or other garden structure. Grapes are generally divided into edible varieties and wine making varieties, with one plant Vitis purpurea, grown strictly for ornamental purposes.

Exposure / Light

Grapes require full sun. Try and plant in location that offers some shelter from drying warm winds as well as the cold winds of winter.

Soil / Moisture

Grape vines prefer deep, humus rich, moist but well drained soils. Clay soils delay maturity, while sandy soils advance it. Water grapes weekly and deeply during the first year. More water may be necessary during hot spells or in warmer climates. For good fruit production, ensure a steady supply of moisture. Avoid low lying areas.

Fertilizing

When planting, help develop the roots by using Bonemeal in the planting hole. Once the vine is established, use Arts Garden Pro Fruit Tree and Berry fertilizer in early spring. Do not fertilize in summer or fall.

Grape Pollination

Grapes are self-fertile and do not require pollination.

Harvest

Grapes are generally ready in late summer and fall. Harvest grapes when ripe and according to taste and appearance. Grapes are highly sought after by birds - gardening netting may be in order to protect your crop.

Pruning Grapes

Pruning grapes is when the average home gardener gets nervous. Rest assured, it's not that difficult. Prune grapes in early spring. The goal is to create upward growth on young vines and horizontal growth as the vine gets older. The overall goal is to create a framework of horizontal branches.

Many experts suggest cutting back at least 50-75% of last years growth - creating a woody central knub if you will. They key is to remember that grapes produce fruit on the current seasons growth. Light pruning results in over-cropping and large yields of poor quality grapes. Heavy pruning creates too much growth and little or no fruit.

For More Information

for more information about growing grapes, visit Arts Nursery or call us at 604.882.1201. We stock a large selection of grape vines throughout the year, but the best selection is available in mid-spring.

Author: Arts Nursery Ltd. Source: Arts Nursery Ltd.
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