Tips for Growing Grapes
(originally published with Stark Bros)
There are so many uses for grapes. Fresh grapes make a healthy fruit snack eaten by the bunch and it’s a great addition to a fruit salad. You can also make delicious jams and jellies and can them to enjoy all winter.
I’m so excited! They’re finally here! My Sweet Lace Grapes that will grow beautifully in my patio container garden. If you are not familiar with this type of grape, I’ll show you. Sweet Lace grapes are different than the other types of grapes that I grow. The Sweet Lace plants are slightly more delicate with a lacey ruffle in their foliage.
I guess I am so excited because Sweet Lace grapes are perfect for a small garden and I want to share them with you so you can see the endless possibilities in small space gardening. Here you’ll see that they come in small 4” pots. However they can grow to be 20-40” feet high, so you must keep your eye on them, by pruning them and making sure that they are trained to grow on the support that you have put in place for them.
To transplant them into my galvanized metal containers, I prep the container with organic soil and fertilizer. After the drainage holes are put into the bottom, I also put a layer of gravel at the bottom. Once the grapes are planted, I water each container thoroughly.
Lastly, I will line the containers up 6-10 feet apart from each other, across my lattice. When the time comes you’ll see my patio transform with bountiful beautiful grapes, everywhere. Stay tuned!
Additional Grape Growing Tips:
- Growing grapes is a long term commitment
- It can take several years before your vines are mature enough to grow grapes and even longer for a bountiful harvest
- Pick a sunny south facing location for your grape vines
- In early spring, plant the grape vines near a vertical support such as a lattice fence, trellis, or arbor
- Vines can grow 20 to 40 feet a year so this is a must
- Plant in fertile soil amended with compost and water thoroughly so the plant can establish itself
- Make sure there is proper drainage and add compost every spring there after
- As the vines grow, train the canes to grow horizontally not vertically by training them to grow horizontally.
- Train the shoots that form off of the cane vertically, that will get you a lot more coverage faster.
- If you are training the vines on an arbor, wrap the vine around the posts as it grows. This will help evenly distribute where the fruit grows.
- Once the plant goes dormant it is important to prune your grape vines.
- Your goal is to have 2 canes growing from the trunk from which shoots grow every year to produce fruit.
Pruning Tips for Grapes:
- In your first winter, prune the plant at least 90%.
- Once the growing season begins again, prune all canes except the two you are training horizontally.
- Once the plant is dormant after the second year of growth, trim the canes back so that they each have 8 buds. This may seem severe, but go for it!
- Continue pruning the canes back less every year until the canes are as long as you want them.