This article answers how to grow grapes in few easy steps. Grapes are easiest and tastiest fruits to grow and yet most ignored crop especially in home or kitchen garden. Among many, grapes are the most cultivated and liked fruits all over the world. The not only fulfill your desire of having a delicious fruits, but also the scenic beauty they give to your garden is dramatic and unique.
Grapes grow vigorously. Their growing phase is fast. With proper care, especially pruning them timely, results in better growth and development and plant life is increased. A fully grown grape vine can last up to 30 years or more. So it can be a good friend of you if you have it in your garden. It requires very little ground space to grow. The vines can be managed and molded as per desire.
There are hundreds of varieties of grapes grown around the globe. Some are grown for the purpose of table fruits others are used in dried form. A large production of grapes is used in preparing wine worldwide. Whatever is your purpose to grow grape vines in your garden, make sure you buy the grape vines from a certified nursery. One year old, vigorous plants are best suited for a home or kitchen garden. If possible, try to purchase certified virus free grape vine.
How to Grow Grapes?
To start with how to grow grapes, here are few steps that should be kept in mind to get optimum results.
Planting the Grape Vines
For best results, planting must be carried out in early spring. The temperature required for one year old grape vine is optimum during springs. Make sure you have constructed the trellis before planting to train the vine for the support. This is also necessary to keep the plant free from diseases. Generally, grapes are self-fertile. However, it is wise to ask the nursery owner whether the variety he is providing you needs another plant for pollination or not?
For better results, soak the roots of the freshly purchased grape vine in water for 2-3 hours then plant it into the soil. Grapes need plenty of sunshine. So site selection should be done with great care. A small duration of no sunlight during day won’t hurt. Make sure it gets sun at least in the morning. The soil should be deep, loose and well drained. Good air circulation soils derive best results.
Next, if you are panting two or more vines in the harden, then there should be a space of 6 – 10 feet between vines. The planting hole should be 12 inch deep and wide. Put the top soil in the hole and fill it 4 inches. Trim off weaker or broken roots. Then place the vine in the hole and fill it 6 inches then tamp down. Fill the remaining hole with soil but don’t tamp this down. Pruning the top back to two or three buds at planting time gets good results during growth of plant. Immediately water the vine after planting.
Caring the Grape Plant
Next step in how to grow grapes is the caring needed by your newly planted grape vine. Once you all done with planting the grape vine, let it grow. It is wise not to get fruit from it in the first couple of years so that it gets strength to support extra weight of fruit. Pruning is important. This will hamper the rampant growth of vines but the fruit will only be produced by the canes only once. So prune annually especially when vines are dormant during March and April, before the buds start to swell.
During the first year of growth, cut all the buds except 2 or 3. It is also wise to select two strong canes for proper growth and cut the rest canes. As your pant celebrates first year of its planting and enters second year, prune back all canes and just leave 2 buds on each arms. Remove flower clusters as they form.
Fertilizer Usage in Grapes
It is sometime very confusing to choose whether to apply fertilizer to grapes. My recommendation is NEVER give fertilizer to your grape plant especially during first year unless and until your soil is weak. Even in the second year, fertilize the plant VERY lightly. Now the next question is what fertilizer should be applied? I recommend simple answer—MULCH. Organic fertilizer is best for your home garden grapes and even for farm grapes. Mulch not only provides nutrients as they decompose in soil but also keep the soil moist around the vines.
Precautionary Measures and Curing Grape Pest and Diseases
To keep the birds away from destroying your home garden produce, use a mesh net on budding fruits. It is also important to have knowledge about the enemies of your grapes. Aphid and Japanese Beetles are biggest pests while Powdery Mildew and Black Rot are common diseases of grapes. To control Aphid, plain soapy water can be used to remove them by spraying it over the affected parts. For Japanese Beetle, I recommend physical removal if possible. However, if the attack is severe, use permethrin, carbaryl, or malathion. There is no threshold to decide when to use insecticide, however to me, use chemical only if you see there is leaf damage exceeding 15 percent.
For curing Powdery Mildew, use one tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with one teaspoon oil and one teaspoon Castile soap. This mixture is then added to one gallon of water. Now spray the plants once a week. This will not only kill the mold but also it will prevent growth of further disease. Same procedure can be carried out for Black Rot in addition to removing the damaged parts physically.
If your grapes are not ripening, pinch back some foliage so that the fruit get proper sunlight. It should be kept in mind that grapes will not stop ripening once they picked from vine. Grapes can be stored for 6 weeks in a refrigerator/fridge. Use card boxes for storing grapes in a refrigerator/fridge as grapes can easily absorb odour of other items in there.
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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, August 05). How to Grow Grapes in Kitchen Garden? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2017/08/05/how-to-grow-grapes-in-kitchen-garden/[/box]