How to Start Growing Grapes. If you're new to growing grapes these tips will give you the basics of getting started. The focus of this guidance is on choosing the right site for planting. There's further suggested reading on avoiding the most common mistakes when growing grapes.
If you're new to growing grapes these tips will give you the basics of getting started. The focus of this guidance is on choosing the right site for planting. There's further suggested reading on avoiding the most common mistakes when growing grapes.
Things You'll Need
Somewhere to plant new grape vines. This could be any size plot of land from a 3ft x 3ft hole in a paved patio ready for an overhead arbor, to vineyard of any size. It doesn't matter what your purpos
The first thing is picking your site for things like good air drainage, good soil drainage, and the right kind of soil.
Think about air drainage: if you can get it up on a slope, or at least up where the cold air will drain away, that will help you prevent some frost damage at times. Think of cold air almost as flowing water. You need to think about whether the water would drain away, and where would it drain to? That will tell you something about where the cool air might be likely to pool up in the spring and give you frost hazard, whereas a spot perhaps just a few feet above it might not.
The next thing is to ensure your site is not prone to collecting water. When vines are dormant they can tolerate a certain amount of water but it should not be encouraged.
Preparing the soil: You should put in lots of organic matter, and I don't just mean mixing it into the soil. That's actually not the way to do it. The better way is to put it on top of the soil and let the organisms in the soil, the earthworms and the bacteria and the microscopic insects and so forth, work and carry it down into the soil. First of all, this helps keep the soil structure intact, and at the same time, works on improving it. Fish fertilizer is my recommendation.
Planting: You're much better off if you just plant it in without doing anything fancy in the hole you've dug. Leave the structure of the soil in place as much as possible. Put mulch materials on top and let them go into the soil, so that the plant get its nutrients from the soil it has to grow in.
Tips & Warnings
The best time for planting new vines is when the vines are just going dormant in your area.
Fall planting is good in most areas.
Stick to organic fertilizer and composts.
Chemical treatments often contain high levels of nitrogen which grapes don't need.
Think about what you'll be doing with your grapes when choosing what varieties to nurture.
If your growing grapes and you plant the wrong varieties for your region you'll have problems. No amount of disease and pest control will compensate for the wrong vines planted in the wrong place. When it comes to choosing varieties and disease, there are many common mistakes that beginners make. There's a full length article on this subject listed in 'resources' below.
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