Grapes

Grapes are a delight, whether eaten fresh or used in jelly, juice, or wine. Clusters grow on woody perennial vines, that require a trellis or arbor for support. Some grooming and training are necessary to get them started and growing properly. Flowers are self-fertile and pollinated by wind and insects. Full sun and heat are required for fruit to ripen.

Light

Prefer full sun. Will grow in some shade, but produce less fruit.

Planting

Dig hole wider than root ball and plant at same depth as in the pot.

Soil

Prefer fertile, well drained, light soil.

Water

Water well after planting. Afterwards, keep soil consistently moist but not soggy.

Fertilizer

Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer, usually a 10-10-10, such as Espoma Garden Food, according to directions.

Training

One of the simplest and most common methods is the four-arm Kniffen system using posts and wires, which works well for varieties that don’t need winter protection. Begin training after vine reaches the first wire, and remove all shoots that grow between wires. Cut back shoots along the wires to two buds.

 

Grooming

After planting, attach the two strongest canes to the trellis and prune the remaining suckers. In March the following year, remove the weaker of the two canes. Weeding throughout the summer helps increase yields.

Mulch

Provide about 2 inches of mulch to conserve moisture and prevent weeds, but be sure not to use too much, so the soil and roots can warm up.

Problems

Japanese beetles are highly attracted to grapes, feeding on their leaves. For more information and how to control Japanese beetles, refer to the article here.

Birds enjoy feeding on the fruit, so it can be helpful to cover grapes with protective netting, such as Bird-X.

Prevent diseases by cleaning up leaf and fruit litter, maintaining air circulation during humid or moist period, and checking for any signs of disease and spraying a fungicide when necessary. It’s also best to harvest grapes as soon as they’re ripe.

Grapes at America's Best Flowers
Variety
Characteristics
Fruit Color
Seed/Seedless
ConcordRichly flavored fruits; perfect for fresh eating, juice, wine, or jelly. Plants are hardy and disease resistant.Deep PurpleSeedless
FredoniaSimilar to Concord grapes, but ripens earlier with bigger grapes.BlackSeeded
RelianceLots of flavor and a thin skin make this great for fresh eating.RedSeedless