Grapes are a delicious and rewarding crop, but successful growth of grape vines can require some gardening finesse. Thankfully with proper strategy, you can enjoy delicious home-grown grapes from your backyard.This article will outline the type of grape crops, and the conditions needed for their growth.
There are several species of grape vines which can grow in North America, and horticulturists have developed several cultivars of grape that produce larger, hardier grapes which can be used for eating and winemaking.All grapes are perennial, but different cultivars differ in the amount of space and sunlight needed.
In general, grapes require a great deal of sunlight.When planting a grape vine, ensure that the vine will be exposed to sunlight most hours of the day.If grape vines are planted in the shade, its grapes will not ripen fully and will produce sour fruit.Grapes also need a rich supply of water in the spring and summer, and should be watered at least once a week until the grapes have ripened.Additionally, the vine will need room to grow.Some varieties of grapes require more space than others, and you should consult your nursery when purchasing the grape vine to learn the space requirements for the plant.
Once planted, the grapevine must be trained to allow proper growth.Different species and cultivars of grape grow optimally under training conditions.Grape species native to North America tend to grow upwards then droop to fruit.These species should be trained to a high trellis which can support the weight of the vine as it grows over the trellis and begins to grow fruit.Cultivars of grapes tend to grow straighter and require greater trellis support with multiple wires to allow their growth.
Perhaps the most important stage in successful grape cultivation is pruning.At the end of each harvest season, you must trim away most of the past season’s growth.Without pruning, the vine will grow more fruit than it can support in the next season, and will produce very low quality, unuseable fruit. Additionally, failing to prune your plant puts strain on the plant during the winter and may affect its ability to grow fruit the next season.If the majority of new growth in pruned each year, you help ensure a successful harvest next summer.
With proper sun and water, growing conditions, and regular pruning, you can enjoy fresh fruit or wine grapes for years to come.