Grapes are berries that grow in clusters on grapevines of the Vitis genus in the Vitaceae family. Not only are they wonderful for eating, juicing, and winemaking, but also they are a beautiful ornamental plant. The best types of grapes for home gardens include American, European, and French-American grape varieties. See how to grow grapes in this article!

When to Plant Grapes?

After winter’s final frost, grape growers should plant vines in the early spring. Grape plants are typically purchased as bare root vines, meaning they are ready to go. Grapes grow best in USDA hardiness zones four through ten. Plant in a location preferably with full sun, and the growing season will follow into the summertime.

Planting grapes

How to Grow Grapes

A small amount of afternoon shade won’t hurt. Your soil needs to be deep, well-drained, and loose. You also need good air circulation.Space vines 6 to 10 feet apart. For each vine, dig a planting hole 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Fill with 4 inches of topsoil. Trim off broken roots and set the vine into the hole slightly deeper than it grew in the nursery. Cover the roots with 6 inches of soil and tamp down. Fill with the remaining soil, but don’t tamp this down. Prune the top back to two or three buds at planting time.

Caring

– Water regularly: Water immediately after planting, and provide your vines with an inch of water per week. Soon, the young vines will grow tall and strong. You can also sprinkle mulch around your plant’s base to assist with water retention.

Watering

– Prune your grapes: Pruning grapes strengthens the root systems and promotes the growth of new shoots. Old canes or vine offshoots will not produce fruit, so cut some of these canes back to engender new growth and fruiting. Then, after producing fruit, prune it in the late winter, just before the growing season restarts. Cut back these just-fruitful canes to half a dozen buds.

Prunning

– Feed grapes with aged compost, aged cow manure, or commercial organic mix in spring. Feeding plants after midseason can cause rapid growth, low-quality fruit, and leave plants susceptible to frost damage in autumn.

How to Harvest Grapes

The harvesting season for grapes falls between August to October in the Northern hemisphere. Pick your fruit so you can have table grapes or grapes for making wine or jelly:

Harvest Grapes

– Examine: Grapes should look rich in color and full in shape. After they mature, grapes will have slightly firm skin that still has some give to it.
– Handpick: Grapes will hold on tightly to the vines, but you should still be able to tug at individual grapes or a cluster by hand without much difficulty.
– Taste test: The grapes should be sweet with just a little bit of a tart flavoring. Try grapes at different areas of your trellis; some may be riper or sweeter based on location and sunlight.
– Prep: Gently rinse grapes with cool water, dry your grapes, and let them sit out on the counter for a few days, or refrigerate them in an airtight bag in the crisper drawer to keep them longer.
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Video source: Villageria

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