Contrary to speculation or popular belief, growing grapes in your backyard is not as difficult as might be assumed. When someone brings up the idea of starting a grape orchard, one can immediately assume that without acres of free land at their disposal, it will be nearly impossible to be successful. This is absolutely NOT true!
In fact, today there are many amateur grape growers who are happy with their little vineyard garden in their backyard. The grapes they produce are excellent for consumption and winemaking, and the little effort put into them is highly profitable.
As a full-time grape grower, I have learned the secrets of what it takes to grow the best tasting grapes for decades. As a child I worked with my father on his farm planting and pruning vines all day and I 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 to maintaining a successful vine garden so that you too can enjoy what these delicious fruits have to offer.
First of all, growing grapes in the backyard does not require costly fertilizers or compost. You can get some really good vines from ordinary soil. Another advantage is that you will not have to invest a lot of time in your garden because the roots themselves will look for what they need. The only thing you need to worry about is where to put the vine.
It really is quite amazing how no matter where you plant your vines, all you have to do is guide the vines around your home into well-lit areas. If you have an open garden where the sun beats down all day, that will work even better.
The best time to plant vines is during the fall. Don’t let the vines bear fruit during the first planting season. Instead, always remember to cut your vines to about four buds. The reason for this is that those four shoots will become the strongest points and carry the rest of the vine up the wall where you planted them. You want your vine to use all its energy producing a strong wood for the next season because it is during the second growing season that you get the best grapes.
Remember that the wood that is born this year will give rise to the fruits of the next year. Therefore, during the first year, cut any flower buds that can form, thus ensuring that the energy of the vine is focused on producing wood.
When pruning during the summer, you want to cut back any new growth while leaving the old wood to provide future fruit. Only remove old shoots when they become a scattered nuisance hanging throughout your garden. When pruning in fall or early winter, this time you need to trim the vines to about five or six buds only so that once again the vines use all their energy to produce strong wood for the winter.
Most of the vines mature in late summer and early September. At this time you can enjoy the best homegrown grapes and continue preparing your vines for future growth.
Expect! Don’t go planting some vines you bought from 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 that will never have the strength to mature once they are brought home. Learn the fundamental backyard grape growing procedures before you make a mistake!