Planting Grape Vines

on Saturday, March, 26 2011 @ 10:48:12 pm (695 words)
In General [ 19821 views ]

Last year during the mid season, Lowe's took their remaining bare-rooted grape vines and put them on clearance at $75% off. There were two in the bag and after the discount I paid only $1.25 for each vine. I picked out a niagara; a green grape, to go with the two mars grape vines I had planted earlier. Niagara grapes are a variety of the grape species Vitis labrusca. Niagara grapes gets the name from the region in which it was developed. In 1868 in Niagara County, New York, C. L. Hoag and B. W. Clark cross-bred Concord grapes with white Cassady grapes.

I was taking a bit of a chance with these grape vines because they had been out for some time and none of them showed any signs of life. I brought them home; mixed up some potting soil, and planted them in two old nursery pots I had. After some time I was happy to see them put out leaves and new growth. I let them stay in the pots during the rest of the year and only transplanted them this spring during some of the warm weather days we had recently.

Niagara Grape Vine

Grape vines are very easy to grow. They do best in full sun in a rich soil that drains well. It is important that the soil drains well for grape vines to avoid root rot. You want to space the vines apart to allow good air circulation between the plants. Good air circulation around the plants is important to prevent diseases and fungus from attacking the vines. The soil ph should be between 5.5 and 6.5 and you will need to test the soil to determine how you should treat it to either lower or raise the ph level depending on your test results.

I had already planted the mars grape vines and decided to clear the area below them and plant the niagara vines in a row behind the mars grapes. There was a tree that leaned out over that area and I wanted to remove that tree last year. The problem is that the tree leaned directly out towards my fig bush and a forsythia and simply cutting it down would mean it would destroy both. After waiting a few days I decided I would try notching the tree to force it to fall to the side of the fig bush and forsythia; a risk since the tree was leaning so much that it could just ignore the notch. I decided to be cautious and dug up the mars grape vine that was directly under the tree and set it aside. Using my hand saw; the tree was around 19 cm (7.5 in) in diameter where I made my cut, I cut the notch first and then started the second cut opposite and slightly above. When the tree started to fall I made my escape having established a path beforehand; trees can be unpredictable and they can also kick up when they fall, you want to be safely out of the way. Luck was with me, the main body of the tree fell where I wanted it to. A branch of the tree did hit the fig bush and broke the ends off of a couple of the branches; however, very minor damage.

Once I had the tree trunk cut into sections I could lift and out of the way as well as the branches cleaned up and piled on the brush pile, I prepared the bed for the grape vines. I had room to space the vines six feet apart with the rows spaced five feet apart. I mixed some extra composted soil into the ground where the vines would be planted. When I removed the vines from the nursery pots I was delighted at the amount of roots that had developed; a good root system means they will quickly establish themselves. Grapes need a support system to grow upon and that will be the next step. I will support the grapes as in a vineyard since I am interested in fruit production over vine growth. Pruning grapes is an important part of growing grapes so they produce lots of fruit.


Comment from: Robert Cox [Visitor]
Robert CoxA cross between Concords and white grapes. Bust ‘em out, K., I’ll bet they are both tangy and sweet. Are they seedless? To gain all the benefits of the fiber and the antioxidants it is important to chew the skin thoroughly.
03/26/11 @ 23:09
Comment from: kimberly [Member]  
KimmyYes, these are seedless grapes. The first grapes we planted here had seeds, and they are not as nice for eating.
03/27/11 @ 01:15

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