There is a lot of information to take in when it comes to learning how to grow grapes at home. However, if you are serious about growing grapes at home you will want to make sure you know what you are doing. There are a lot of things that will affect the success of your grape growing efforts and I will be trying to address the most important ones, so keep on reading!
I love wine, I love the countryside and I love growing things. Putting those ingredients together in the mix, it is easy to understand why my interest in growing grapes at home was sparkled.
My first attempt was years ago, planting a little vine in the south of Spain. It was just a silly attempt to growing grapes and I did not know anything about soil, diseases, fertilizer, nothing. The vine just grew and surprise surprise, one day it even had grapes on it!
Then I moved house and left the vine behind, thinking that one day I would get another shot at growing grapes at home. That opportunity came years later when I started renting a little home in the countryside. But again, I moved and had to leave the grapevine behind.
So now I am living in the suburbs of a big city with no garden, no free land to grow grapes, but haven't lost my interest in growing grapes at home. I am actually considering the possibility to growing grape vines on my balcony, seeing that the climate is pretty good.
So what does it really take to grow grapes at home?
Obvious answers include a good area to grow them and a climate that will support and help the growth of the vines. Those factors are most important seeing that there are a lot of things you can influence, like the quality of the soil and the health of the vines themselves, once you have your mind set on growing grape vines.
Grape vines need sunlight and loads of it so it helps if you are living in a climate with higher temperatures and loads of sunshine. If you are going to grow vines in your own garden, try to find a place where there is a lot of direct sunshine, your vines will be grateful for that!
So you have picked a sunny spot for the vines to grow, now what you need to do is ensure that your soil has the right pH level. The most perfect pH level is 6 to 6.8 but anywhere between 6 to 8 is ok to grow grape vines. You can easily test the pH level of soil you are thinking of using for your grape vine-growing project, by using a home pH tester, which you can easily acquire online.
If the soil is outside the perfect pH level, you can manipulate this using fertilizer, so no worries if your soil isn't perfect!
So you have you have picked a spot in the garden, you have tested the soil, next is planting your new grape vines. The best time to do this is spring, not only because of the climate but also because it is probably easier to work the soil. Make sure that you plant a healthy grape vine, especially taking great care that the roots of the vine are strong and well developed. Before putting the vine into it's place, make sure you water the hole so that the roots won't dry out and have time to root into the soil.
A great tip and important to notice is that it is recommended to keep watering the hole while planting the grape vine and filling the hole with soil. This way the soil will set correctly without leaving any air pockets, avoiding your roots to rot.
Depending on your own wishes and space you have available to plant grape vines, you can plant several grape vines in a row. Make sure there is enough space between one vine and the next and if you are not sure about this distance, contact your local garden center or a grape vine-growing specialist in your area.
One of the most common mistakes new grape vine growers commit is to overwater and over fertilize, so make sure you read up on the right quantities for your particular grape vine and soil and keep testing in case of doubt.
Also make sure you use the right fertilizer for your soil, again more information should be gained for your personal growing circumstances.
The more experience you get, the easier things will become and you might find that your first time around does not end in a huge grape growth. You might even find that your grape vine dies off or dries out. Or that it contracts a disease you could have recognized if only you were more experienced. But don't doubt about it, growing grapes at home is a lot of fun and grape vines can be such a great addition to your garden (or balcony for that matter!), so keep at it!
The longer you grow grapes vines at home, the stronger your vines will grow and the better harvest it will give you. Learn the art of pruning grape vines and you will find that you can have a very active participation in the growing success of your vines.
For example, if you prune too much this will lead to a lot of green leaves, and no matter how beautiful that might look, it will only give you very little fruits. The opposite, pruning too little might give you a lot of fruit but you will find it is of a lower quality. So it is a case of balanced pruning that you can learn from the experts and over time.
Growing grapes at home is a lot of fun, especially if you start seeing green results and your grape vines are flourishing every year, giving your family a great amount of healthy tasty grapes. Maybe your next problem will be what to do will all of them!