Vines are multi purpose with many uses ranging from jam, table grapes, baked goods, and most importantly wine. There are different types of vines that will produce different type of grapes, some more suited for wine versus jam or baked goods. Here are 12 basic steps to grow your vines;
1. Pick a type of grape-There are different types of vines that will grow within your growing region and specific climate. The local nursery will be able to point you in the right direction on which type of vines will thrive in your growing climate.
2. Prepare your grapevine cuttings-If using cuttings from a vine, you can prep the cuttings by cutting a cut at an angle, around 45 degrees above the node.
3. Select a suitable location-Grapevines thrice on south facing slopes as they require good drainage and sunlight.
4. Prepare the soil-Grapevines can be picky when it comes to soil conditions. They prefer sandy, and rocky soil types with a pH of just above 7.
5. Prepare the trellis for your grapevines-Grapevines require support as they grow, so you will need to build a trellis system to support the vines. They are typically wooden posts with trellis wire this provides a strong support board for the vines to grow along.
6. Know when to plant-You need to judge when you start planting your vines, ideally when the frost is gone, either late winter or early spring.
7. Plant your grapevines-Plant your vines in a pre dug trench that will cover the roots but not cover the first bud of the cane of the vine. Spacing will typically be 6-10 feet apart, but could be unique to your type of vines.
8. Give your plants a good watering-After planting give the vines a good watering to the roots, however vines don’t like heavy rain or waterfall. After the first watering you will need minimum water, again only at the root base. You may need to setup a drip irrigation to better managed this watering technique.
9. Prune your grapevines-Your vines should not produce fruit for the first 3 years as the young vine structure will not be able to handle the weight of the fruit and will damage them. You will need to prune the vines to ensure they do not produce fruit. You will be cutting everything off except for the strongest branches to allow proper training of the vine structure.
10. Prune vines only when dormant-You will complete the above pruning only when the vines are dormant, this is typically in early spring.
11. Apply pest control as required-Once your vines are growing you will need to apply some pest control measures such as weeding around the vines, bird netting once the fruit starts to develop, and sprays that will control insects that may damage your vines. Your local nursery can help further.
12. Harvest your grapes when appropriate-The best way to determine your grapes are ready for harvesting is to taste them. If they are sweet, then they are ready for picking. If they aren’t then they require longer hang time on the vines. Do not pick them if they are not sweet as they will not ripen further off the vine like some other fruits do.
Article inspired by WikiHow
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