Growing Grape Vines at Home. A list of Grape Vines you can grow in your backyard. Grape vines tolerate poor soils but will do better with good loamy well-drained soils. Caliche or hard types soils are not ideal for the growing of grape vines.
How to Grow Grapes at home
Most varieties of grape vines will grow almost anywhere in the U.S. When is the best time to plant them? Early spring is best. However, you can plant them any time of the year.
A list of Wine Grapes (Vinifera)
Vitis vinifera ‘Zinfandel’
Vitis vinifera ‘Merlot’
Compact Oregon Grape Holly
Mahonia aquifolium ‘Compacta’
Vitis vinifera ‘Chardonnay’
Vitis vinifera ‘Flame Seedless’
Chambourcin Blue-Purple Wine Grape
A list of wine grapes suitable for eating (Vitis Vinifera)
Oregon Grape Holly
Pinot Noir Grape (eating or making wine)
Vitis vinifera ‘Pinot Noir’ Eating or Wine Grape
Flame Seedless Grape
Thompson Seedless Grape
Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’ Excellent Fruit for Juicing
Common problems with Grape Vines
The grape leafhopper is a problem throughout the U.S. These insects are very small about 1/8th of an inch long and they feed on the lower surface of the foliage. Spraying with a good systemic insecticide will help but you should also spray your grape vines with Horticulture oil in late winter to prevent the insect larvae eggs from hatching. Keeping your vines clear of grass, rocks and weeds will also help keep insects from invading your plants.
Powdery Mildew is a fungus that will attack vines. It’s usually caused by too much water over-spray from sprinklers and over-crowding of plants. Prune out early in the season and heavily during the non-growing seasons. Remember to clean your pruning tools with soapy water and or alcohol to prevent the spreading of any type of fungus or diseases.
The best way to prevent birds from eating your grapes is to use a good tree/vine netting. You can get netting at your local nursery store.
Faux Owls and other ornamental birds of prey will work to a certain degree. Moving them around at least once per week will work better.
Use good soil for your Grape Vines
As mentioned earlier do not plant your soil in hard (caliche) soil as they will have a hard time growing. Good loamy composted soil with good drainage is recommended.
We recommend digging 2 ft. deep and twice the size of the root ball and backfill with good organic composted soil. It’s best to mix your native soil with the composted soil about a 50/50 mixture ratio.
The spacing requirement if growing Grape Vines at Home. Space your vines about 5-6 ft. apart. This will give you plenty of room to prune and harvest your grapes when they are ready.
Water and fertilizer
Water is essential for good growth and lots of grapes. Watering should be done every day for about 3 weeks after initial planting. Once that period is over It is best to water every other day on a good drip system about 20 minutes each time. Always wait at least 3 weeks before fertilizing your vines.
Where to plant
Plant your vines in full sun, however, if you live in hotter type climates they can be planted in early morning sun and afternoon sun. They will need at least 6 hrs of full sun during the growing season. Good well composted will work well. Grape vines do not like alkaline soil so it would best to test your soil to ensure it is not alkaline.
My recommendation is to call your local extension agency and ask if they can test your soil. Soil testers found in local nurseries do work, however, most folks only test one small section of land. You should test anywhere from 5 ft. to 10 ft of spread. Grape vines like tomatoes like slightly acidic soil.
Your grapevine test should register about 5.5 through 7 anything higher and it’s too alkaline. The best way to remedy high alkaline soil is to use good organic composted soil. Do NOT over-think it…good soil will almost always register a 7 or slightly lower which is neutral.
If your foliage is yellow or chlorotic you will need iron, if it does not produce blooms it needs phosphorous, not enough stems or growth it needs potash. Nitrogen should be used after your plant is established.
Setup a good Vine Support
For a single vine you will need support it’s best to build a trellis or purchase one at your local nursery. You can also build a good wire fence support.
Best Eating Grapes
The Flame Seedless Grape Vine. A medium sized cluster of grapes. It does well in the Southwest and will ripen early in the season.
The Thompson Seedless Grape Vine. All-time favorite grapevine a good eating grape pick right off the stem rinse and eat.
Growing Grape Vines at Home
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com