Growing Grapes

Question

I have a grapevine that has heaps of green leaves, but I can’t seem to get any grapes to grow. I think I found a tiny bunch that were underdeveloped and sour. Do you have any good tips to change this or should I just remove it?

Answer

Grapes are relatively easy to grow and are a wonderful addition to the home garden. Without knowing the history of the grapevine, it could be an ornamental variety and therefore won’t produce good eating grapes, or it could be a cutting from the previous owners’ friend’s grapevine.

If you have room, plant a proven eating grape variety e.g. Niagara (white), or Albany surprise (black) against a wall or strong structure to grow up. Keep the existing grapevine and prune it back hard in winter and observe what happens next summer. If there are little or no significant grapes, then remove the old vine. 

You can prune once all the leaves have fallen off the grapevine. Depending upon on how you train your grapevine, main leaders should be established and spur growth off the leaders should then be pruned back to two nodes (a node is a bit like a fresh new knuckle where growth will occur sprout from in spring). It may seem to be very hard pruning, but grapevines put on a tremendous amount of growth every year. In early spring, new shoots can be quite frost tender so cover vines with a frost cloth from late August through to September if you get late season frosts in your region.

Regularly water roots only (to avoid fungal diseases of leaves and fruit) and apply Daltons Garden Time Fruit and Citrus Fertiliser.

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