Yes, I planted a vineyard! Well, sort of. I’m not exactly going to make bottles of wine, but I did plant three grape vines on my homestead the week before Thanksgiving. That’s a mini vineyard to me. I had ordered the grapes along with two apple trees from Stark Brothers Nursery. (See The Orchard is Growing! to see how I planted my apple trees.) I wanted red, white, and blue (purple) grapes, and the nursery had a great package of seedless grapes that would grow in my climate (zone 8). I received one Reliance grape vine (red), one Marquis grape vine (white), and one Concord grape vine (blue).
(Above photo credit: http://www.commons.wikimedia.org)
PLANTING GRAPE VINES:
When my order arrived, the trees and the grape vines were bare root (without soil), so I soaked the grape vines in water, same as I did for the trees. (I put the asparagus I ordered in the water, too, figuring it couldn’t hurt). Although the instructions from the nursery stated that tap water was acceptable, I used buckets of rainwater I had sitting on my patio. The falling leaves discolored the water, but rain water is always better than chlorinated water in my book.
I decided to plant my grape vines along my chain link fence so I can train each vine to grow in a double bilateral cordon. So, I got my “Garden Wilson” to dig three holes near the main posts of my fence.
My soil contains a lot of clay, so I augmented my soil with sand as well as compost. I used mushroom compost for my grapes. And here’s my “Garden Wilson” doing the heavy lifting. 🙂
After augmenting the soil, I placed the vines in the hole and filled with the mixture of soil, compost, and sand.
As I filled the hole, I tamped the soil down to be sure there were no air pockets. Then I watered the vines very well.
After I watered well, I covered the soil with about two inches of cypress mulch, keeping it about two inches from the trunk of the vines.
I admit, I’ve never grown grapes before, and I know I’m going to have to learn a lot – especially about pruning them for training along my fence and for optimum grape production. But I don’t mind because I’ve always wanted to grow grapes. And, I can share what I learn with you!
Do you grow grapes? If so, please share your advice in the comments below. It’s all about learning from each other.