I Planted a Vineyard!

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.

Grape vines (and asparagus roots) soaking

Grape vines (and asparagus roots) soaking

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.

Hole for planting grape vine

Hole for planting grape vine

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. 🙂

Jon pouring mushroom compost into grape vine hole SG

After augmenting the soil, I placed the vines in the hole and filled with the mixture of soil, compost, and sand.

Grape vine - concord - being planted SG

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.
Grape vine - marquis - planted SGAfter 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.

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