10 Steps to Planting Or Growing Your Own Grapes
Planting and growing your own grapes can be at first intimidating. When was the last time you saw a successful vineyard? You probably have not seen one yet. Planting or growing grapes takes time, dedication and earnest effort. Did you know that it can take up to three years before a grapevine produces its first fruits? Many people just don’t have the necessary patience and knowledge to embark in grape planting or growing. Is it really that complicated? Can an ordinary person who does not have a degree in horticulture be successful in planting grapes? Yes it can be done without acquiring any special skills or knowledge. But how can you go about doing this?
If this is going to be your very first vineyard, you need to follow these 3 baby steps in order to be successful:
1) Start small. There is no need to be thinking about a large vineyard. That will come later as you gain more experience. Start with ten vines which is exactly what is required to make homegrown grapes and if you decide to produce your own wine, these ten vines will yield approximately ten gallons of wine.
2) As a novice, it’s better to start planting grapes in early spring for two reasons. First, it is a perfect climate for planting or growing grapes. Second, the early spring rains will allow your grapevines to settle in before the growing season starts.
3) You should never plant or grow your grapes in puddles or wet areas. Your vine needs good drainage in order to thrive.
Now that you know what to do, how about planting the grape itself? Follow these ten simple directions and you’ll be successful:
1) Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root system. Doing so will loosen up the soil which in turn will provide good drainage.
2) Keep the vine buds visible by not burying them into the soil.
3) While holding the vine into the hole with one hand, use the other hand to pat the soil down gently. This will allow you to expel air pockets from the soil.
4) Make some dimples at the base of the vine, that way it will be easier to water them.
5) If you intend to make wine, you need to know that the best wines are made with small grapes; therefore, the use of fertilizers is not encouraged. To produce small grapes which are better for delicious wine, you want your soil to be lacking in nutrients. At the same time you don’t want your soil to be too poor in nutrients.
6) For a small vineyard, keep your vines separated by a distance of six feet. However a large vineyard requires a distance of eight feet between vines.
7) Keep on watering your grape vines, especially if you don’t have enough rainfalls in your area.
8) It is very important to keep your vines drained. Grapes don’t like too much water.
9) Make sure you plant your vines where they can be exposed to sunlight and air flow, otherwise they will suffer and cease to grow.
10) Do not plant vines near trees or buildings because they will suffocate them. Sunlight and air circulation are also important for photosynthesis, the mechanism that changes carbon dioxide into sugar. After fermentation, the sugar will turn into alcohol. Finally, sunlight and air flow prevent grape diseases.
Planting and growing grapes require time, patience, dedication, along with earnest effort. However, you don’t have to be a professional to accomplish that, nor does it require special skills or knowledge. Just follow the above directions and your rewards will be priceless.
Olby Beauchard is the owner of Grape Growing Formula and wrote the above article. He is also a contributing author to [http://grapegrowingformula.com]. This site provides information and tips on grape growing and wine making. Want to learn more about grape growing? Visit my website at [http://www.grapegrowingformula.com/planting-grapes-direction] for helpful tips and information on growing, planting, and caring for your own grapes.