Growing your own organic fruit can be tough at first, but once you get used to recognizing what your plants need, it’s very simple to do. Follow this step-by-step guide to growing great grapes and learn organic gardening at your own pace!
Step 1 – Picking the Right Type of Grape
Pick the right type of grape you want to grow; whether its wine, table or slip-skin. Make sure that you pick a variety that will fit in with your climate. Sometimes it’s best to leave these facts and tabulations to the experts, just visit in to your local nursery and ask someone who’s mature in the field for his/her opinion and expert advice in order to avoid any sour disappointments later on.
Ask about the correct weather conditions for the type you wish to grow and which grape does best in your area. Pick the grape that your garden can cater for, making sure that it provides adequate heat and shade at different periods during the day.
Step 2 – Planting the Seeds or Cuttings
When planting any type of organic food, make sure that your soil is very well nourished. This will determine how well your crops fair over time. Make sure that you plant your seeds or cuttings in full sun which is a must for the production of good fruit. The developing grape needs all the sun it can get. Vines planted in the shade are prone to fungal diseases.
Work the soil so that it is loose and fast draining. Grapes have very deep roots, so make sure that you amend the soil as deep as you can go. It is also a good idea to mix in organic compost to an ideal depth of 30 to 36 inches.
Step 3 – The After-Care
This is the easy part if careful planning was taken into consideration before you planted the grapes. As they start sprouting and growing, provide a trellis or another type of support for the vines. Different types of grapes grow at different rates so need different types of support. Trellis support also helps in keeping the fruits away from the soil to avoid rotting. Train the grape vine as you would like it to look once mature and producing fruit.
Step 4 – Pruning
It is important to prune grape vines when they are dormant. Fruit is only produced on year old wood, on stems that have been formed in the previous season. For this reason take care when pruning so as not to go over the top and be left with no ‘old’ wood. Remove long runners in mid-season to keep the plants compact and under control. Putting off pruning for too long can cause your shrub to become untamed and very messy and this may prevent it from providing the growing grapes with enough nutrients.
To keep your vine healthy, water sparingly and fertilize it from time to time. Do not water the grape vine in the sun, as this will cause it to shrivel up. Always water when the plant is in the shade. Once your vine is mature enough, enjoy the "fruits" of your labor.