Grow Grapes At Home
Growing Grapes - Facts
Seven Steps to Growing Grapes
Growing grapes in pots or in the ground at home is fun, just follow these steps.
Grapes are a popular and sort after, delicious fruit which normally gets overlooked when choosing a fruit to grow because of the length they can take to produce delicious Grapes, but there are many benefits of growing the fruit is not only having a juicy and popular fruit that looks incredible, but they can also last for over 30 years!
They do not need to much attention and looking after, apart from some pruning, fertilization and watering in the summer seasons.
Grape Vine Varieties
There are so many varieties of grapes that can be grown and used in various ways from a light and tasty snack to some being used for wine. Some examples of these Grapes are;
Bacchus: white grapes which have a distinct taste and an amazing quality. They originated in Germany and can be eaten on their own or to make wine. Black
Hamburgh: thin-skinned purple/black Grape with a delicious sweet taste which can be eaten as they are or used for wine. Cabernet Sauvignon: Small black grapes with an intense flavour used to make the popular well-known wine. Flame: Dark red seedless juicy Grape with a crunchy texture, an eating Grape. Rhea: large pink oval fruit, sweet and juicy, a seedless eating Grape.
With any fruit you are looking to plant there is always factors and information to take into consideration to give you the best chance of successfully growing the Grapes. This is going to be covered in this article.
As much as grapes are not as “fussy” with their type of soil there are some which would be more beneficial to the plant than others, also the soil needs good air-circulation.
The best soil to use would be a loam soil, a combination of silt, clay and sand would give your plant the best chance with the right nutrients and organic matter it needs to produce a stunning plant and scrumptious fruit. Do not use to much sand as this can absorb a lot of water drying out your plants and their roots.
Before planting your vines, it is advised to soak the roots in water for 2-3 hours so they can have some water absorbed before they settle into the soil and then water again once planted. They need to be kept in the sunlight.
The most ideal soil would be Sandy Look, but Clay loom and Silt loom soils can also be used but keeping an eye on their drainage is needed but they can be helped with moisture balancing amendments.
Some organic matters in which you could add are manure and vegetable composed as well as leaf mould and pine bark.
The vines need to be 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep, filling with the hole with 4 inches of topsoil, trim the roots off the Vine, cover with 6 inches of top soil and pat down and then cover the rest with top soil again. Plant with a bamboo stick or steel post approximately 7 feet tall.
There are benefits growing them with companion plants. They can grow with Peas, Clover increases soil fertility, Geraniums will help repel pests, Basils a natural pest repellent, and Blackberries help create a shelter that shades parasitic Wasps that kill leafhopper eggs and Oregano a natural pest repellent. These also can help retain water, help stop weeds from growing around the vines.
Grape vines do need water but for a healthy and productive plant, it is always good to check the soil. A sufficient amount of water for the plant would be 6-10 inches below the soil. The main time you would need to worry would be in the summer months.
A good tip would be to have your hose pipe trickle that way there will be enough water for the plant to absorb through the soil but not too much to cause root rot or “drown” the plant.
Regular care of your Grape Vines will be very effective for efficient growth. Pruning in the month of March and April will benefit the buds and help stop them from swelling, do not be afraid of pruning 90 per cent of the growth from the previous season as this will more grapes.
Three Years Before Harvest
To get the most from your plant and to succeed in growing delicious fruit it is advised to not allow Grapes to grow until the Third year. Meaning fertilisation is not recommended or needed for the first year and only slightly used within the second year.
The best time to harvest your Grapes will be in the third year in the last summer and early fall, Grapes will not ripen once picked from the tree, the best way to check if they are ready is to simply pick a few and taste them to see if they are to your preference.
Testing Your Grapes
Another way of testing when they are ready to be harvested will be the color and texture of the grapes, they will be juicy and plump, a strong color and firm but can be easily squashed.
When storing grapes there are many places in which you can place them and depending on quantity, which type of grape you have harvested and your use for them. If you are choosing grapes to be eaten as they are the best way is to place them into bags, unwashed and placed into the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks (wash when ready to eat/use).
Freezing and Storing
Grapes can also be stored in the freezer to used at a later date. If storing grapes in the cellar the can be kept for up to six weeks but absorb the odors of other fruits and vegetables. They will be need to be kept separate and stored well, preferably in wooden crates and covered with straw.
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