I have been a grower of an A to Z of plants for decades. One of my passions is grape growing and over the years I have experimented, tested and learned exactly what my plants need to thrive.
Now, one of the most basic requirements for not just grape growing but for any kind of plant, is the soil quality.
The ground a plant’s roots are buried in is going to be that plant’s entire universe for the whole of its life. That’s an enormous consideration because, get it right and your plant will thrive. However, if you place any plant into unfavourable soil it is as good as feeding it poison.
As far as growing grapes is concerned some vines are reasonably tolerant but will still fail to thrive unless their soil and conditions are to their liking.
To succeed you must first choose the right variety of grapevine for your location.
Pick the wrong one and it will struggle or die.
To ensure success though, this is what you need to get absolutely right.
Picking exactly the right variety of vine suited to the part of the world it is to grow in is halfway to success. The next consideration is the soil it will be planted in. Depending on the natural minerals in it, soil can be acid, alkaline or neutral. For grape growing, the plants generally prefer a soil that is very slight acidic. A pH reading between 5.0 and 7.0 at the extremes but ideally 6.5 seems best. Performing a soil test and rebalancing the soil with lime or organic material to reach the desired levels will reap huge benefits.
Soil drainage and water retention is the next vitally important point. If your soil is very stony or extremely light and loamy, water will most likely drain away quickly. This will result in drought for you grapevine’s roots. Alternatively your soil could be very heavy and contain a lot of clay. This kind of material won’t drain easily. It tends to retain moisture to the extent plant roots become waterlogged. If required, a healthy amount of organic material dug in will help reduce the soil’s ‘stickiness’ and improve its quality.
The feeding of your plants comes in two parts. The first being that you ensure the soil has plenty of well rotted compost dug in prior to planting. This move will enrich the ground with minerals and other essential matter as well as improving the make-up of the soil around the plant roots. The second point is to apply top dressing feed or fertiliser to ensure the plants are not being starved of much needed nutrients. During the high growing season your grapevines will be drawing up huge amounts of food in order to develop foliage, stem growth, flowers and set fruit. As such, providing the right balance of feed is vital.
By providing precisely the right conditions for growing grapes you can be repaid with a harvest you would not thought possible. Better still, it is not difficult to achieve. What is important is you need to learn the easy steps to success.
It isn’t possible in these short articles to go into too much detail but if you are serious about wanting to discover how to grow fantastic, succulent grapes, make your own wine or both, let me help you. I have been a grower for over thirty years and my wealth of experience is at your disposal. Discover more on the points raised in this article and lots of other guidance it has taken me a lifetime to learn but you can access right away. Come along and visit my website at http://www.vinetowineguide.com and get your FREE 10 part grape growing and winemaking minicourse. No email sign up just download as my gift to you. Just click the link and I will meet you there!