- Grapevine Won’t Produce: How To Get Grapes On Vines
- Why are There No Grapes?
- Defining Poor Fruit Set
- Potential Causes of Poor Fruit Set
- Documenting Poor Fruit Set
- Recommended Resources
- Fruitless wild grapevines
- Lifecycle of a Grape Vine
- Bud Break
- Fruit Set
- How to Grow Grapes in Your Backyard
- Planting Grapes
- Feeding Grapes
- Pruning Grapes
- Ask a Master Gardener: Grapes need sun, help staying dry
- How To Plant Grapes – Growing Grapevines In The Garden
- About Growing Grapevines
- How Do Grapes Grow?
- How to Plant Grapes
- Harvesting Grapes
- Successfully grow your own grape vines using these handy tips. How to select a variety, find the perfect location, build a trellis and care for your plants!
- Impressive Looking Plants
- Building a Trellis
- How to Successfully Grow Grape Vines
Grapevine Won’t Produce: How To Get Grapes On Vines
You’re so excited to start harvesting your grapes, but there are none on the vine. Perhaps, you planted them last year, fed and pruned as you thought was needed and, still, there are no grapes on the grapevine. After a close look, you find a couple of small, underdeveloped clumps near the bottom. Or maybe you’ve moved to a new location with vines already covering the fence, but your grapevine isn’t fruiting. What a disappointment to find your grapevine won’t produce. Let’s take a look at some reasons this might happen and learn how to get grapes on vines.
Why are There No Grapes?
Vine is too young: In general, your vine will not produce grapes until it is at least three years old. Clusters form on stem growth from the previous year, two-year wood, every year.
Too much fertilizer: If you’ve given your grapevine too much nitrogen fertilizer, this can result in lush growth of the foliage and no fruit. This also happens if there is too much nitrogen in the soil. If you believe this is the reason there are no grapes on your vine, do things differently next year. Fertilize your grapes in the future with a product high in phosphorus, the middle number on the fertilizer ratio, such as 10/20/10. Do a soil test to determine what is needed, if possible. Your vines may only need a light feeding of compost tea and mulch during winter.
Not enough sunlight from improper pruning: Grapevines need full sun, all over, for a full harvest. Overgrown and unpruned tops block sunlight from reaching areas of the vine. Prune properly for the sun to reach the vine and to promote good air circulation. Remove old wood that is more than two years old. In most areas, prune grapevines during dormancy, usually in late winter. Remove all but four canes on the first pruning and keep them trimmed back thereafter. New growth develops on one-year-old wood, so these canes benefit from full sun especially. Older branches don’t fruit. Prune hard on older vines.
Pest and disease: Borers and beetles, along with other pests, sometimes attack the grapevine. Hand pick small numbers and put them in a bucket of soapy water. Prune off infested branches. If it appears you have a heavy insect infestation, spray with a horticulture soap product. A fungal disease, such a powdery mildew and botrytis bunch rot, may also affect the vines. Proper pruning allows good air circulation to discourage these issues. Water your vines at the root, keeping foliage and branches dry, to help avoid them as well.
Needs pollination: Most vines produce female flowers, or both male and female flowers, and are pollinated by the wind. Some varieties require a second vine for pollination. Research your grapevine variety to learn of its pollination needs.
What is poor fruit set? Causes Documenting poor fruit set More Info
Patty Skinkis, Oregon State University
An individual grape inflorescence (flower cluster) contains hundreds of flowers. However, not all of those flowers will set fruit and develop into berries. On average, 50 percent of flowers within an inflorescence set fruit and become berries (May, 2004). Any greater percentage of fruit set can lead to more compact, tight clusters that can be more prone to fungal infections, particularly in those regions that have higher risk of botrytis and other rots. Fruit set that is low (less than 30 percent fruit set) can lead to clusters with few berries, and/or clusters with significant berry variability. This phenomenon is often called “hens and chicks” where large and small clusters exist within a cluster.
Defining Poor Fruit Set
There are a number of different ways that poor fruit set can be defined. There can be loss of the entire inflorescence (flower cluster), termed inflorescence necrosis and loss of individual flowers within an inflorescence, or flower necrosis. Some flowers may abscise before bloom, and still others may abort prior to bloom. Finally, there can be flowers that set and form small shot berries that never ripen and may abscise before harvest. In some cases, these shot berries are retained. If you see a significant lack of fruit set, you should document and describe your observations, as this may be indicative of a potential causal factor.
A Pinot Noir cluster at harvest exhibits signs of poor fruit set including few berries per cluster and small green (shot) berries. Photo by Patty Skinkis, Oregon State University.
Potential Causes of Poor Fruit Set
When poor fruit set is observed, it can usually be associated with factors that influence the development of flower parts between bud break and bloom. Development of flower parts begins shortly after bud break and takes approximately six to eight weeks. The conditions during bloom can be a critical factor in how many flowers per inflorescence set fruit. Because nearly 50 percent of the flowers may not set fruit in a cluster, it is normal to have some flower abscission. It is best to wait until approximately 10 to 12 days after full bloom to observe flower clusters for fruit set estimates.
- Vine nutrition. Research to date indicates that vine nutrition has an impact on bud fruitfulness (number of flower clusters in a bud and on a shoot) developed during the previous growing season as well as floral differentiation in the current season prior to bloom. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) status of vines have been implicated as potential causes of poor fruit set and inflorescence necrosis. Micronutrient deficiencies of boron (B) and zinc (Zn) can result in poor fruit set as they play a role in early season shoot growth, and in the case of boron, pollen tube generation which is required for fertilization. Water stress prior to bloom has also been associated with poor fruit set, and this can be related to the lack of shoot growth and nutrient uptake prior to bloom. The influence of vine C and N is more complex and not completely understood with regard to flowering and fruit set. However, too high or too low vine N can lead to poor fruit set or inflorescence necrosis. The relationship may not be solely in total concentrations of N in vine tissues, but rather the C:N status of the vine. This is directly related to vine vigor status.
- Vine vigor status. Vines with high vigor tend to have higher N in their tissues, making C:N lower. Conversely, weak vines have lower N and higher C, leading to a higher C:N ratio. In either case, having an unbalanced C:N status of the vine can lead to poor flower development and fruit set. This also relates to competing sinks in the vine: shoots vs. clusters. In overly vigorous vines, shoot tips can out-compete clusters for resources pre-bloom and can lead to reduced flower development and poor fruit set. Conversely, a weak vine will have fewer resources in stored carbon and nitrogen, leading to weak growth. The stronger sink in the weak vine (shoots) will pull resources from the flowers leading to poor fruit set. Therefore, it is best to achieve good fruit set by managing vines for vine balance between vegetative and reproductive growth. The goal is a moderately vigorous vine, not a weak or overly-vigorous vine.
- Weather. Overcast, cool, and wet weather can reduce fruit set; however, the mechanism differs between the times when the weather occurs for different processes (floral initiation, development, bloom, and fruit set). Cold and overcast weather prior to bloom can lead to problems in floral development. These environmental factors are likely linked to vine C and N status, particularly if growth is stunted during the early stages of the growing season. If the weather is cold at the time of bloom, the progression of bloom may be delayed and result in reduced set. Finally, rain during bloom can physically inhibit pollination and fertilization by dilution of the stigmatic surface which is to receive pollen from the flower’s anthers.
- Damaging Events. Anything that is drastically damaging to the vine’s canopy can lead to problems with poor fruit set. These events may include early fall frost, winter damage, hail, or other methods of vine defoliation (herbicide, insect feeding, etc). During fall, the vine is redirecting nutrients from its leaves to store as reserves in the trunk and roots. If a severe fall frost is experienced well before leaf-fall, there can be a significant disruption of this nutrient storage that will leave the vine in a weaker state the following spring. Similarly, any event that can significantly defoliate a vine late in the growing season or in early spring can lead to poor flower development and reduced fruit set by way of reduced carbon assimilation and storage.
- Plant material. A few cultivars and clones of Vitis vinifera can normally have poor fruit set. The underlying cause is not certain. In some rare instances, self-pollination incompatibility may be an issue. Wild and seedling Vitis muscadinia vines are often dioecious (have either only male or female flowers). Therefore, male vines would have flowers, but would lack fruit. Some of the older muscadine cultivars have only female flowers, requiring either a monoecious vine or a male vine to be planted nearby.
Documenting Poor Fruit Set
If you observe poor fruit set in your vineyards, it is best to keep a record of the situation. If you are not currently doing some estimate of fruit set, it is wise to begin the practice to develop a baseline of information for a given block. To begin observing fruit set, monitor clusters within 10 to 12 days after full bloom. Remember, nearly 50 percent of the flowers may not set fruit, so they can be found falling from the clusters before, during, or after fruit set. Consider taking some observational notes and photos at fruit set for rough estimates. Also, fruit set can be estimated through cluster weight data. Records of berries/cluster and berry weight are certainly good to have in your records, but this requires significant sampling across blocks and is very time consuming and not practical on a production scale. If you observe inflorescence necrosis and/or significant flower necrosis, make note of the block and flag the vines for future investigation. Record weather data from bud break to bloom. Consult your vineyard nutritional analysis records and pruning weights to determine any changes over time in vine vigor as indicated by yields and pruning weights.
While we cannot control weather conditions, we can do our best to manage vineyards for a healthy, balanced state. When this is achieved, even poor years will cause only a minor problem with flowering and fruit set. Where there are considerable problems with over- or under-vigorous vines and/or poor fruit set, the problems in vegetative and reproductive balance can be difficult to bring back into equilibrium and may take more than one season to achieve.
May, P. 2004. Flowering and Fruitset in Grapevines. Adelaide: Lythrum Press.
For information on bearing potential of rootstocks, see Grapevine Rootstocks for Oregon Vineyards, Oregon State University Extension.
Stages of Grape Berry Development
Reviewed by Sara Spayd, North Carolina State University and Jim Wolpert, UC Davis
Fruitless wild grapevines
While wild grapevines are pervasive throughout New England, they often go unnoticed through much of the year even as they climb over stone walls and up into tree canopies. That is, until the week they ripen in the fall, when the powerful scent of grapes fills the air, attracting jelly enthusiasts far and wide.
I was recently asked by a gardener why a grapevine growing on his property never produced any fruit, despite excellent growth in a sunny location. I, too, have observed a wild grapevine near my property that grows profusely each season, covering our stone wall, and yet, despite the excellent crop on my cultivated grapes, I have yet to see a fruit on this vine. Why is this?
The answer is an interesting one. The most common “wild” grapes in New England are Vitis labrusca (fox grape) or Vitis riparia (riverbank grape, or frost grape) – both of which are what is called dioecious, which means that they have separate male and female plants. In contrast, most cultivated grape varieties are hermaphroditic, meaning that their flowers have both male and female parts – which is convenient because those vines will self-pollinate, producing fruit without a “mate” nearby.
Back to my very vigorous but unproductive grapevine. Sure enough, when I examined the flowers at bloom time (mid June) last year, I discovered that he was a male. You can see this in the photos below.
On the first photo, the arrow is pointing out a “perfect” flower, which has both a well-developed ovary, which will become a grape once pollinated, and five stamens, which bear the pollen that will pollinate the flower. On the second photo, the arrow is pointing to a yellow-colored undeveloped ovary that is non-functional. Note that all of the flowers have plenty of stamens, but there are no normal ovaries that can develop into fruits.
A flower cluster from a hermaphroditic cultivated grapevine; the arrow is pointing out a well-developed ovary that will produce a grape if fertilized.
A flower cluster from a wild male grapevine; the arrow is pointing out an unedeveloped ovary that cannot be fertilized.
The first photo is a photo of one of my cultivated (hermaphroditic) grapevines, and the second photo is from my neighbor’s very robust male grapevine. Alas, I had solved the mystery – but what a disappointment to realize that such a beautiful vine will never produce fruit. If you have such a vine, it’s relatively easy (at bloom time) to figure out whether you have a male, a female, or a hermaphroditic plant – just by looking.
A bonus observation: it wasn’t until I was editing the photographs that I noticed an additional creature (Alan says it is a tarnished plant bug relative) in one of the pictures. Can you see it?
September 13, 2018 | Morgan Beard – Associate Marketing Manager, Consumer
Lifecycle of a Grape Vine
Every bottle of wine has a story to tell, and that story begins in the vineyard. With each vintage, the unique interaction between terroir, climate, and weather dictate the narrative of each bottle. So, in this blog we will examine the lifecycle of the grape vine, the ultimate wine author.
Come spring the vines reawaken from dormancy. From March to April the vines experience bud burst. From these buds, green leaves burst awake in preparation for photosynthesis with the warmer months. Bud break is a delicate time, as the new growth is in danger of spring frost and hail storms.
As bud break turns into vegetative growth, the next process of the grape vine begins from April to May. Flowering is when bunches of tiny flowers bloom from the new vine shoots. Grape vines are self-pollinating, so each of these flowers has the potential to turn into a single berry.
As the summer months set in, the pollinated flower drops its petals and tiny green grape berry clusters with seeds develop at the end of the stem. Although, not every flower is fertilized into a berry, so it simply falls off the vine. The fruit set stage of the grape vine is critical, as it becomes the initial indicator of the potential crop yield in harvest.
Come mid-summer, the green berry clusters begin to expose their color pigmentation. Verasion is the process in which the berry clusters begin ripening and turning purple or blueish in color. The heat of summer induces sugar development and ripening in each grape, while the cool evenings (depending on growing region) preserve natural acidity and freshness.
From September to November, for winemakers, viticulturists and wine country visitors, this is the most exciting time of the wine growing season! There is a palpable buzz and energy as winemakers’ taste, test, and measure brix, or sugar content, and determine when the grapes are ready to be picked. Harvest is when the grapes have reached optimal ripeness and are ready to tell the story of the vintage.
After the seasons fruit has been collected during harvest, all fall leaf foliage falls to the soils and the vines go dormant. During this time, viticulturists are diligently pruning each vine in an effort to guide vine growth for next season. After four months of rest, the grape vine repeats this process effectively growing and telling the story of another season.
Harvest is the best season to visit wine country! The vines are lush with green foliage and plush purple grape clusters create the most picturesque visit. Our annual Paraduxx X2 Release Harvest Party took place on Saturday, September 29th! If you missed the festivities you can still book your fall reservation at Paraduxx, Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye and Calera today!
How to Grow Grapes in Your Backyard
Discover how to grow grapes, and you’ll enjoy the amazing pleasure of picking a grape fresh off the vine and popping it into your mouth. When you bite into a grape that’s warm from the sun and bursting with juice, you’ll be hooked on growing grapes on your own.
When we think of growing grapes, we dream of green or purple table grapes (the kind you eat fresh), jams and jellies, raisins, or perhaps a good wine grape, just in case you want to make your own Cabernet.
Knowing how to grow grapes successfully means selecting the right variety for your region. Grapes will grow in almost any part of the country (Zones 5-9), but you need to choose one that suits your local conditions of summer heat and winter cold. Your local extension office can suggest a specific variety, whether it be table or wine.
Grapes need full sun all day no matter the region you live in, and well-drained soil that’s free of weeds and grass—you don’t want any competition for water and nutrients. Think of all those pictures you’ve seen of the Italian hillside vineyards—that’s what you’re aiming for.
Looking for More? Our Guide to Growing Fruit
Plant grapes in early spring, when you’ll find bare-root varieties available. As you plant, cut the existing root back to 6 inches; this will encourage feeder roots to grow near the trunk. The root system of a grapevine can grow deep, so well-cultivated soil is best. You will probably need to do some pruning at planting time, too. Prune off all except for one stem, and then look for the buds on the stem; cut the stem back to only two buds. You’re on your way.
The first two or three years, each early spring, apply a nitrogen fertilizer. You may not have to do this as the vines mature; it all depends on your observation. Do the vines look vigorous and healthy? Maybe you don’t need any fertilizer.
Learn how to grow grapes trained on a vertical trellis or on an overhead arbor. You can decide which method fits into your garden better, but be sure to have the supports in place before you plant the vines. On a vertical trellis, branches from the previous year’s growth are selected to grow along the wires of the trellis or fence. The buds along the stems will flower and set fruit. Just like a fence, the trellis can have two or three levels, and the center stem is left to grow up to the next level.
If you’d like to see your grapes hanging down from overhead, you can train the vines that way, still shortening the branches and selecting just a few to secure to the metal or wood arbor.
The technique for how to grow the most productive grapes is good pruning practices. Pruning grapes and the training techniques may sound complicated, but they don’t need to be. Each dormant season, keep a few stems that grew last year, and train them on the wires or trellis. You’ll probably have to shorten them to fit your space. Prune everything else off. It’s shocking to see how much you will cut off, but your grapes will grow better because of it. You’ll see buds on the remaining growth; each of those buds will produce several shoots that grow leaves and flowers.
Vines can overproduce grapes. This isn’t a case of too much of a good thing, because overproduction leads to poor-quality fruit. Avoid this by thinning flower clusters that look misshapen and cutting off fruit clusters that develop poorly.
Don’t jump the gun on harvesting; grapes won’t improve in taste after you pick, so sample a grape or two occasionally until they are ripe. Then get busy picking!
Bake Your Bounty: Delicious Grape and Pear Pie
- By Marty Wingate
Ask a Master Gardener: Grapes need sun, help staying dry
Q: My 20-year-old grape vines produced prolifically until 2 years ago when grapes came on the vines, then got a coating on them and dried up. What is wrong, and how can I treat them?
A. There are four common grape problems: black rot, botrytis, downy mildew and powdery mildew. Plants can have more than one issue at a time. Fortunately the treatment for all of these is similar.
All are best avoided by planting resistant varieties of grapes. When it is too late for that, you need to be extra vigilant in caring for your vines.
Grapes should be planted in an area where they get sun all day. As the vines mature, they must be pruned to let air and light reach the inner branches so they dry quickly. If the vegetation is allowed to stay wet, the pathogens from one or more of these diseases are likely to flourish. It is best to prune when the plants are dormant, so start by pruning now. Later, try to keep the vegetation dry by watering only at the roots. Hot, humid weather can make it very difficult to prevent problems but fortunately, this is Duluth.
Remove any diseased vegetation promptly. Fall clean-up, even of the healthy-looking stuff, is important. This removes the pathogens, reducing their strength the next year. If you can’t get all of the mummified berries off the ground, cover them with some soil. That will trap the pathogens.
Don’t over-fertilize. Excess nitrogen causes lots of weak growth that is easily attacked.
There are some fungicides that can be used for control, but they are not a replacement for the other processes. Look for fungicides that are listed as being safe for grapes.
Fungicides don’t fix existing problems; they just prevent them from getting worse, so you need to spray at the right time. Start when the blooms are just getting ready to open and spray again, only in the amounts and frequency as the fungicide label instructs, every 7-10 days for three or four weeks.
Written by U of M Extension Master Gardeners in St. Louis County. Send your questions to [email protected]
How To Plant Grapes – Growing Grapevines In The Garden
Growing grapevines and harvesting grapes isn’t solely the province of wine producers anymore. You see them everywhere, clambering over arbors or up fences, but how do grapes grow? Growing grapes isn’t as difficult as many believe. In fact, it can be done by anyone with the right climate and the right type of soil.
Read on to learn how to plant grapes in your landscape.
About Growing Grapevines
Before you begin growing grapes, pinpoint what you want the grapes for. Some people want them for a privacy screen and may not even care about the quality of the fruit. Others want to make grape preserves or grape juice or even dry them to make raisins. Still other adventurous folks aim to make a great bottle of wine. While wine grapes can be eaten fresh, they have many more requirements than your average table grape.
Grapes are of three ilk: American, European and French hybrid. The American and French hybrid cultivars are most suited to colder regions, as they are the most winter hardy. European grapes are not usually recommended for the home gardener unless the grower lives in a temperate area or will provide winter protection.
Decide what you want the grapevine for and then research types of grapes that are appropriate for this use. Also, select grape cultivars that are suitable for your region.
How Do Grapes Grow?
When growing grapes, requirements include a minimum growing season of 150 days with winter temps over -25 F. (-32 C.). Grape growers also need a site with good drainage, full sun and neither soggy nor arid conditions.
Purchase vines through a reputable nursery. Place the order early and ask that the grapes arrive in the early spring. When the grapevines arrive in the spring, plant them immediately.
How to Plant Grapes
Grapes are generally unfussy regarding soil type and drainage. They thrive in deep, well-draining sandy loam. Prepare the site a year prior to planting by removing any weeds and incorporating organic matter into the soil. A soil test can ascertain if further amendments are needed.
Remove any broken or damaged roots or vines and place the grape in the soil at the depth it was at the nursery. Space plants at least 8 feet (2 m.) apart (4 feet, or 1 meter, apart for arbors) within and between rows and mulch around the plants to retard weeds and retain moisture. Prune the tops of the vines to a single cane.
During the first year, tie the vines to a stake to prevent injury and to train the grapevine. Decide which method of training to use on the vines. There are a number of methods, but the general idea is to prune or train the vine to a single cordon bilateral system.
Growing grapevines requires a bit of patience. Like pretty much any fruiting plant, it takes some time, three years or so, to establish the plants and harvest any amount of fruit.
Harvest grapes only after the fruit is fully ripe. Unlike other fruit, grapes do not improve in sugar content post-harvest. It is best to taste the grapes before harvesting, as they will often look ripe and yet their sugar content is low. Grape quality declines rapidly once the sugar has peaked so it’s a rather fine line when harvesting.
The amount of fruit yield will vary depending upon the cultivar, age of the vine and climate.
Successfully grow your own grape vines using these handy tips. How to select a variety, find the perfect location, build a trellis and care for your plants!
A few of years ago, we finally decided to finally start growing those grape vines that we’ve been talking about for the last five years or so. We live in a really mild part of Southwestern Ontario and vineyards and wineries are actually pretty common around here, so we thought it would be neat to grow some too. Plus we had some cool barn beams that we wanted to use to make the trellises, so that pretty much sealed the deal. 🙂
Impressive Looking Plants
You’ve probably visited a friend or neighbor at some point in your life who had giant grape vines growing up the side of a garage, or on a giant trellis providing shade over a patio. These displays always look really impressive, but the truth is that grapes really need a pretty large support system because the plants can get really heavy when they’re weighed down with ripe fruit. To build our grape trellis, we used some really heavy hundred-or-so-year-old barn beams and some chicken wire, but a porch railing, or a wooden trellis up against a fence will work well too.
The barn behind our house had been taken down a few weeks before, leaving us with a completely non-obstructed view and a pretty great supply of rustic wood to play around with for the next few years.
I loved our view of the barn (you can see pictures of it here), but I think I might like this wide-open view even better!
And look at these fun beams!
We built our trellises earlier in the spring, so of course the garden looks a lot different at this time of year, but later in the summer is also a great time to plant you grapes and you can probably find some great deals in the garden centre too!
You can pop over and visit me on Instagram to see how our garden is looking right now.
Building a Trellis
We built our trellises really simply, with just a few cuts from the chain saw and some gigantic nails.
Those are the old nail holes from the barn. We just stuck our nails right in the top, and of course we poured some concrete footings as well.
Don’t mind the toys all scattered about and the little mini sandbox there! That’s how we actually manage to get out in the garden and get some work done these days!
Those little side supports were just there until the cement dried.
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The next thing we did was to stretch chicken wire across the fronts of the trellises. This was much quicker and easier than doing a series of individual wires or boards and really gives the vines somewhere to grab on to anywhere that they might need it!
I love how these grape trellises look from the road and how they’re like two little “picture frames” in front of the garden. I’m so impressed by how they’ve filled in now that they’ve been there for a few years.
Of course, if you’re short on time or lacking in rustic barn wood beams, a pre-package kit is a good option and should work out just fine if cared for properly.
These vines were just so happy to be here from the moment they were planted. Here’s how they looked just a few weeks later!
These vines were just loaded with teeny tiny baby grapes too!
How to Successfully Grow Grape Vines
If you’re thinking about planting some grape vines too, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Selecting Your Plants
-Grapes are happy growers in almost any climate and there are many varieties to choose from. If you aren’t sure which type to choose for your area, keep things simple and just pick some plants up from your local nursery. The types that they carry will be suitable for growing in your area.
-Grapes can take 1-3 years to start producing fruit, but you can buy pretty large well-established plants at your nursery right now. We found it was totally worth the extra few dollars to have the instant gratification and the excitement of being able to watch the fruit grow this very first year.
Find the Perfect Location
-Make sure you plant in an area with well-drained soil. You always see beautiful photos of vineyards growing down the sides of hills because that’s where grapes like to be! If you have a spot in your yard with a slight slope, that’s perfect. Our garden is dug out to be level, but that part of our yard slopes down towards the creek, so the drainage is perfect there.
–Ventilation is important. You want to have good airflow around the base of the plant and all around the leaves and fruit as much as possible. Since grapevines can get really lush and full during the summer months, this can be a bit challenging, so just make sure that your trellis is built at least a good eight inches away from the sides of fences or buildings if you choose to plant up against something like that.
Care For Your Plants
–Don’t over-water your grapes! After your first initial heavy watering at the time of planting, don’t worry too much about giving your grapevines extra water every day like you would need to for a new tree. Water them a few times a week just like you would if they were well-established if you live in a dry area, and if you get a decent amount of rain where you live, then they’ll pretty much just take care of themselves!
–Prune your grape vines every winter. Pruning is necessary for grapes to avoid becoming overgrown and also for them to produce fruit. If you don’t prune each year, your grapevine will become more and more likely to produce mostly leaves so trim back 70-90% of the previous year’s new growth, but maintain some of those newest shoots because the one year old shoots are where the fruit will grow! Make sure you do your pruning in the winter because it helps the plant avoid certain diseases. The plant can leak sap if you prune it during the warmer months and it won’t grow and produce quite as vigorously without it’s magical grape-growing sap! I went pretty crazy with the pruning this past winter and at the beginning of the spring I was pretty sure I had killed them, but now that it’s mid-summer they’re huge and full of grapes. Don’t be shy when it comes to pruning!
How to Sharpen Pruning Shears
I’m so pleased to finally have our grape-growing adventure underway and I’m so excited to have discovered such a fun and easy plant to add to our property. I can definitely see a little mini vineyard popping up in another spot along on our creek at some point in the next few years. Plants that pretty much take care of themselves are always welcome at my house! 🙂
Do you have any favorite grape-growing tips and tricks that we need to know about?
Some of my favorite gardening posts:
- How to harvest basil for strong and productive plants
- How to use salt to finally get control of your weeds
- 5 uses for coffee grounds in the garden
- Homemade ant killer recipe
- How to edge a new flower garden
- Magical all-natural weed killing recipe
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