Growing Grapes in Your Back Yard

Grapes are fun to grow and are a great fruit to use in making all sorts of fun home items such a jam, juice, pie (yes…) or whine.  Grapevines can also be used as ornamental decorations while alive or by being cut from the vine.

Trellis and arbors look awesome and grapevines make for a fantastic photographic back ground for family photos.

Each vine can make close to 20 pounds or more of grapes once they are established and can be productive for over 40 years!

Grapes come from American, European or French hybrids.  If you live in the North East, the American and French hybrids are considered better such as concord, delaware, reliance, canadice and Niagara varieties.  the European hybrids are not suggested because they are not able to survive the harsher winters found in the North East.

Make sure that you protect your grapes from livestock such as cow and deer.  You never know when a farmer loses control of his herd (this happened to me).

Grapes come in all sorts of shapes and colors and provide very distinct flavors.  Seeded and seedless grapes are available and the ripening time will vary depending on what type of grape you choose to grow.

Canadice will grow early, concord will grow mid season and catawba will arrive later.

Concord grapes are very popular for jams and jellies and make a magnificent addition to a home party.

In picking grapes for your home, it is wise to take disease resistance into consideration.  Fungus and viruses can attack and kill grape plants in no time so it is best to find varieties that are able to survive a slew of diseases that attack grapes.

When to plant grapes?

The best time to plant grapevines is in the early spring. If you try to do so in the late fall, you risk the plant not surviving the winter. The soil should be free of weeds and diseases. Break off dead parts and prune so that you have one cane from the plant. You may have to water frequently, especially during the first year if the summer if dry.

Be Patient

Grapes take time to establish themselves and training grapevines can take years but are well worth the time. Normally it is best to plant vines 8feet or more apart and make sure there is a trellis or arbor for the vines to climb.  Training the vines should take place the second year on forward.

Training vines can take place in many ways and one of our favorite ways is to allow the fruit parts of the plant to hang low which allows the fruit to be more accessible.

Grapes are fun, but be patient because they take time and support.


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