Often, it is believed that only wineries can grow grapes, but this is so untrue. Growing grapes can be done by anyone with the right climate and the right type of soil. Let’s take a look at how to grow grapes in the garden.
Climate for Growing Grapes
The right climate for growing grapevines will always entail a minimum number of days of frost-free temperatures to mature the growing vines. You might wonder how long does it take grapes to grow. It takes 165 to 180 days, which includes harvesting of the fruit and acclimation of the wood for winter.
How Do Grapes Grow?
The first thing you need to do when planting grapevines in the garden is to make sure the soil is good. Clear out the area where you want to plant, then make sure the soil has adequate drainage but sufficient moisture.
Growing grapes require a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5. You can also mix in organic matter so the soil contains two to three percent. This means spreading 20 pounds of nitrogen per acre. A pH above 6.8 can be acidified by using sulfur. This will create the best soil for growing grapevines. The perfect soil is a gravelly loam that has been well worked to a depth of 12 inches (30 cm.) or so.
Grapes are grown from hardwood cuttings of the grapevine. When you think about how to plant grapes, remember that the vines have a shallow root system. You have to be careful when you are weeding around the vines.
You can train your grapevines to grow on fencing and arbors alike. Second year plants will produce the most fruit. First year plants are basically a way to help establish good roots and plants.
You can pick your grapes when they are ripe. Once they color, you should taste them daily until they reach the desired sweetness, or the desired ripeness for their purpose. The sugar increases the longer the fruit is on the vine after ripening. Keep this in mind in case you need your grapes for something more tart, like wines or jellies.