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Grape Growing For Home Gardeners

Home Grape Growing

Grapes can be grown in most areas of these United States, but you will need to choose your varieties based on your region.

What you will need:

Growing area

A place to grow the grapes. Ideally, this would be an area that has full sunlight, southern exposure, and fertile, deep, well drained soil. The first two, full sunlight, and southern exposure, are a must. As for the soil, you can modify it to suit your needs. The soil should be cultivated to a depth of 1 to 2 feet (the deeper the better), and should have plenty of organic matter to help it drain well.

Support

The support that I am talking about is not the moral or physical support that you may need to get your grape growing underway, although that too can help from time to time. The support that I am talking about is a system to support your vines to keep them off the ground. This is, of course, a trellis. Some systems are better than others, but the basic trellis can be something as simple as a couple of t-posts driven into the ground with a wire stretched between them, or as complicated as a classic arbor.

Grape vines what type?

You will, of course, have to have grape vines. The varieties you choose are largely a function of your specific region, so you are going to have to do a little research here. There are a number of books, and periodicals on the subject, and the internet has hundreds of articles about growing grapes. There is also one of the most underused resources in the country no more than a phone call away. Your area agriculture extension agent. These guys are wealth of information, and can offer some guidance on other grape growing issues as well. There is another resource available which can help you in every single aspect of growing grapes, and I will give you that information at the end of this article.

Grape vines how to get them

After you have decided what grows well in your area, you can choose from those varieties. Now, how do you acquire the grape vines you need? You can often find rooted cuttings or potted plants at your local nursery. There are nurseries online who will probably have what you need, or if you want to really get involved in the whole experience, you can locate vines of your chosen type and take cuttings. The best time of the year to extract cuttings is just after the grape vines enter dormancy. You will need a cutting with four buds. Make a smooth, clean angled cut about a quarter inch from the bottom bud. If the buds angle does not give a clear indication of which end is the basal end, you may want to mark the basal end so you know which end goes into the ground. Make the top cut angled as well, and an inch or so from the highest bud. Plant these in a potting soil mix which drains well and keep them watered regularly. The cutting should be planted to a depth to cover the bottom two buds.

Let them grow that way until the following years planting season before planting them in the prepared rows.

For further information

What I have given here is a basic outline of the grape growing process. There is a lot of information needed to fill in the gaps. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we decided to make available the most comprehensive grape growing system available today, from an expert in the field.