If you have a trellis, pergola or unsightly fence in your yard, why not learn how to grow grapes so that you can pick your own delicious juicy nutrient packed fruit!
Grapes need plenty of sunshine to grow and ripen properly as well as having good air circulation to prevent pests and diseases which attack grape vines like mildews. The major issue around growing grapes is that you need to have a proper feeding, training and pruning regime to get the vine to produce well. This is a simple program to follow when learning how to grow grapes:
How to grow grapes – planting
- Plant your vine in early spring
- Water well during summer
- Prune of side shoots in the 2nd winter.
- Taper off watering when the fruit is set.
- Feed the vine in spring with Epsom salts in spring (500g to 5l of water)
- Feed with liquid feed during mid summer.
When your grapes are full and ripe (pick one to taste – it should not be sour or green) use a pair of sharp scissors to harvest your bunches. You will get a small yield in your first year, so set your expectations. You can store your grapes in the fridge.
When to plant: All year long unless you get snow in winter, preferably early spring.
How many plants: 1 vine depending on your area
How long to harvest: When grapes are full and ripe.
Successive planting: No need unless your vine dies.
How to grow grapes – long term care
For you to further understand how to prune grape vines, this YouTube video does a good job explaining it for the home gardener.
Nothing is better than fresh cold crunchy grapes as not only a snack, but they also contain great antioxidant health benefits as well!. My sister in law even loves to put grapes in her green salads.
If you have a large harvest of grapes, you can make grape jam.
You will need 3 1/2 lbs (375grams) grapes, 2cups water, 4 1/2 cups raw organic sugar.
Remove, but retain, the skins from 1/2 of the grapes – a tedious task – cover with your water in a large pot and cook until soft, about 10 mins. Press the grapes through a sieve to take out the cooked skins and seeds. Return the strained grapes to the pot, stir in the uncooked grape skins and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the sugar, then bring it to a rolling boil for 10 – 12 minutes. Prepare your jars in the meantime and then pour the jam into the jars leaving headroom. Wipe rims and seal, then process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack.