This article will find out how easy it can be to grow fresh grapes. Not only are they worthwhile, but they can also be grown in numerous garden areas and can change the appearance of your landscape in your yard.
Another advantage with the fruit is that you may not need to wait as long for the plant to deliver fruit than fruit trees.
Here, you can learn how do grapes grow and will your garden be suitable. By the end of this article, you will find out how grapes are grown to get the most from your plants and how you can use them to add a touch of a European look to your yard. (Read How to Make a Fruit Fly Trap)
Are Grapes Hard to Grow?
It is often a question asked because everyone will want to know. For example, how do I grow grapes?
Grapes can be eaten fresh, dried into sultanas, and you can freeze them to make them into refreshing drinks once they are out of season.
One of the essential criteria for growing grapes will be space. Grapes will spread as they grow on long vines you will need to support.
Most often, you see them climbing up a trellis or a pergola. In length, you may find grapevines growing to 15 feet in length, as well as the same in width.
In the most basic, they require the following:
- Full sun
- Regular watering in well-drained soil
- You will generally harvest backyard grapes in the mid to late summer up to late fall.
Where Do Grapes Grow Best
If you check to find where grapes grow best, you can come up with two answers.
In the backyard in American gardens, grapes grow the best in the USDA hardiness zones 4 to 10. This will depend on the variety of grapevines you wish to grow.
Once in your garden, you’ll need areas that are warm, sheltered, and have plenty of sun. They often grow them in South – South-West facing walls or fences.
Grapes can grow in any soil, as long as it is well-drained if you want to make wine and grow wine grapes. A wine grape prefers a south-facing slope, with your grapevines running North to South. (Read What Smells Do Fleas Hate)
One thing to note is that if you decide to grow grapes for wine, these are not the same as table grapes. They are edible yet have thicker skins and are much sweeter.
Can I Eat Grapes Growing in My Backyard?
Rather than wine or table varieties, you can also find various varieties of wild grapes.
Wild grapes have vines, much like cultivated grapes, and have a voracious growth habit. You may find some growing 50 feet long. Also, they come with woody root systems, which can last for years, and are often a reason many gardeners call wild grapes weeds.
Wild grapes have tendrils that anchor onto any surface, such as branches, walls, or anything they grip. Most time, they grow more than cultivated varieties, and they can take over other plant species around your garden. (Read How Much Water Do Strawberries Need)
Common wild grape varieties in North America are:
- Fox grape
- Summer grape
- Riverbank grape
Wild grapes are edible, although they can be bitter if you eat them off the vine. However, they lose some bitterness if you wait until winter and the first frost approach.
You may find a wild grape good to use in cooking or juicing rather than sitting on your dining table. You may also like to use the leaves in the kitchen.
How Long Does It Take to Grow a Grape Vine?
Depending on the variety you choose, you often see that planting grapes can take 2 to 7 years to grow any fruit.
However, you can find all you need here to get the best grapevines to get the best results. You will find that many grape varieties are American native, making things more accessible. (Read Can You Grow Strawberries Indoors)
Best conditions for cold-hardy grape varieties:
- Climate: Sites should have over 160 frost-free days.
- Winter temperatures: Minimum winter temperatures for European wine grape varieties is 0 F and -5 F for grape hybrids.
- Soil: Well-drained soils such as clay loam are preferable as they remove excess moisture from root zones.
You will need to pick a suitable cultivar.
- What do you want grapes for? Do you want juice or eat fresh?
- Is the variety suitable for the American climate where you live?
Concord grapes are suitable for a Midwestern climate and have good pest resistance, and are cold-hardy. European grape varieties are for more experienced gardeners looking to make wine.
French-American hybrids are suitable for less experienced gardeners growing for wine production. (Learn How Far Apart Do You Plant Tomatoes)
Planting Grape Vines
- A year before you are ready to plant, mark off an area you select and prepare your soil.
- Purchase bare-rooted plants for early spring planting.
- Next, Trim the roots to 6-12 inches, and then next, soak your vines in water.
- Dig holes several inches deeper than your longest roots.
- Plant vines with roots pointed down and evenly spread.
- Tie the shoots loosely to a training cane to ensure a straight trunk. Doing this will create a strong vine structure.
- Keep any new vines watered and free from a sign of weeds.
You can apply a small amount of fertilizer two weeks after planting. However, it should be 1 foot away from the plant vines. Feed your plant in the early springtime for the first two years. (Learn How Long Do Poppies Take To Grow From Seed)
Prune Grapes Early
- It would help if you aimed to prune back any old signs of growth while vines are dormant in early December to March in the spring.
- Prune back old stems early to one or two canes. Pruning should leave, leaving two or three nodes sitting on each cane.
- Once shoot growth starts, remove all apart from the two most vigorous shoots.
- Besides keeping new vines watered, be sure to remove all flower clusters during the first year.
- Stake or cane vines as required
- Make sure to stop deer, rabbits, or other animals like tender shoots.
You can erect your plant trellis system in the summer or early fall in your first or second year.
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