Contrary to popular speculation or belief, growing grapes in your backyard is not as difficult as one may presume. When someone mentions the idea of starting a grape garden, one may immediately assume that without acres of free land at their disposal, it will be almost impossible to be successful. This is absolutely NOT true!
As a matter of fact, there are many amateur grape growers today who are content with their small vine garden in their backyard. The grapes they produce are excellent for eating and making wine and the little effort put into it has a high return.
As a full time grape farmer, I have learned the secrets of what it takes to grow the best tasting grapes for decades. As a child I would work with my father on his farm planting and pruning grapevines all day long and continued working with him as a teenager and even now as an adult and family man. I want to teach you how to grow grapes and share with you the secrets of keeping a successful grapevine garden so that you too can enjoy what these delicious fruits have to offer.
First of all backyard grape growing does not require expensive fertilizers or manures. You can get some really good vines from ordinary soil. Another goodie is that you won’t have to invest a lot of time in your garden because the roots themselves will seek out what they need. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is where to put the vine itself.
It really is quite amazing how no matter where you plant your vines, all you have to do is train the vines around your house towards the well sun lit areas. If you have an open garden where the sun hits all day long, then that will work even better.
The best time to plant your grapevines is during the fall. Do not let the vines fruit during the first season of planting. Instead, always remember to cut down your vines to about four buds. The reason for this is that those four buds will become the strongest points and will lead the rest of the vine up the wall where you planted them in. You want your grapevine to use all of its energy producing a strong wood for the next season because it is during the second season of growth that you get the best grapes.
Remember that the wood that is born this year will lead to next year’s fruits. So during the first year, clip away any flower buds that may form, thus making sure that the vine’s energy is focused on producing wood.
When pruning during the summer, you want to cut off all new growth while leaving the old wood to provide for future fruit. Only remove old growth when they become a straggling nuisance hanging all over your garden. When pruning in the fall or early winter, you should cut back the vines this time to about five to six buds only so that once again, the vines will use all their energy for producing strong wood during the winter.
Most grape vines ripen during the late summer, early September. At this time you can enjoy the best tasting home grown grapes and continue preparing your vines for future growths.
Wait! Don’t go planting some grapevines you purchased at your local nursery and then wonder why you are getting poor results. Many of these vines come from other states and were cut from a healthy patch which will never have the strength to ripen once taken home. Learn the fundamental procedures of backyard grape growing first before making a mistake!