There are several varieties of grapes that require different climatic conditions for growth and survival. However, the basic procedure of caring for all varieties is more or less the same.
How to Care for a Grapevine
While growing grapes at home, the most important thing which needs to be taken into account is the weather. Most species of grape grow well in warm temperatures as this facilitates growth and ripening of the fruit. However, this plant cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold. The right time for plantation of grapes is early part of spring.
It should be planted in well-drained soil in a location where it receives a lot of sunlight. As it is a climbing plant, you have to provide it with adequate support structure or trellis and train the vines to confine their growth on the given structure. Ensure that you do not let any stray plants or weeds grow in the surrounding area.
In the first year, the newly planted vines should be watered more frequently to ensure the growth of healthy and strong roots. Grape vines should not be watered in the fall. This is because if you stop watering the plant then it can use up the excess water and prepare itself for the winter.
During this time, it produces an antifreeze substance to protect itself from the damaging effects of frost. If you continue to water the plant, then it will not be able to get rid of the extra water and is at a greater risk of frost damage.
At the time of planting, you have to prepare the soil by adding compost to it. If you have done that, then it does not require additional supply of nutrients in the first year.
Buds that are badly damaged by frost should be eliminated. You will find some new shoots growing along the main stem. These shoots are useless, and cannot bear fruit. It can affect vine growth. You have to cut out all these parts keeping the main stem intact.
Grapevine is often attacked by pests, insects, birds and animals. It can be identified with signs like discoloration of leaves and rot in fruit. You have to use pesticides to control them. But, don't use pesticides that are generally used for lawn care, as they are unsuitable for grapes. For protection from insects, birds and animals, cover it up with a net.
After investing considerable amount of time and efforts, you can finally reap a rich harvest of these delicious grapes in your garden. Now, it is time to relish these juicy fruits. You can eat them fresh, or process them to obtain jams, jellies, or wine and enjoy them!