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  • Grapes

    Cultural Information
    Grapes are quite tolerant of varying growing conditions and can be grown here in the south. Choose a sunny location with some means of support. Since grapes can become very large plants, growing them on a fence, arbor or other large structure is preferable.

    1. Dig a hole at least twice the width of the rootball.
    2. Using Pike Planting Mix, mix one part natural soil and one part planting mix.
    3. Make sure the top of the original rootball is one inch above ground level.
    4. Firmly tap soil to remove any air pockets.
    5. Water in with Liquinox B1.
    6. Lay a 2-inch layer of mulch, like pine straw, under the plants to help retain moisture.

    Grapes benefit from regular feedings by producing stronger growth and large yields of fruit.
    1. Feed monthly with 100% organic E.B.Stone Fruit, Berry and Vine Food.
    2. Prevent leaf chlorosis or yellowing by applying an iron supplement in mid-spring and again in fall.

    Keep soil moist throughout the growing season. The best time to water is between 6-10am before the intense sun comes out. Water until just before you would see water run-off.

    Year One
    Leave it alone - let it grow.

    Year Two
    In winter, select the strongest cane. Cut back to leave 3-4 buds. Remove all other canes. In spring, select the strongest of the new shoots to grow as the main stem. In summer, when shoot reaches the point on the trellis, fence or arbor where you want to start the branching, pinch out the growing tip. Allow the two strongest canes to grow and develop.

    Year Three
    In winter, secure the two canes, prune to the size of the structure. Cut side branches back. Don't leave any spurs this year. Plants should resemble a "T".

    Year Four
    In winter, prune for fruit. Cut back laterals leaving 3-4 buds.

    Year Five
    In winter, trim out half of the canes that bore fruit and trim back to 2-3 buds. The buds will be fruiting spurs. Space approximately 6 inches apart. Pruning in subsequent years is the same.

    For powdery mildew Bonide Fruit and Vegetable 3 in 1 Spray.

    As the fruit ripens, yellow jackets, wasps and birds can create problems. Place yellow jacket traps around the garden to reduce their numbers while netting will help protect from bird damage.

    See more articles about: Edible gardening, Garden to Table, Garden Care, Fruits & Berries