how to plant grapes Archives

Rick’s Grape Vines

Hi Grape Friends,

I received this email from Rick, a member of the Complete Grape Growing System.  From the email he send me, it seems like he knows what to do – how to start constructing the framework of the grape vines, however he ran into some difficulties along the way.

By the way, Rick’s grape vines look great, and it’s always a pleasure to assist you guys wherever (whenever 😐 ) I can.

NOTE:  The text in red, are my replies.

Background info:  I live in _________ , Arizona, USA. We live in a desert and summer temps are extreme. Temps of 110-115 degrees (F) are common in July & August. Our growing season is long lasting from March-November. I just got my first grape plants and I’m hoping to get “first year growth” before night time temps get cold in November.

I just got some grape plants and bought your system last week. I’ve modified an existing arbor to accommodate the grapes. The arbor was built to provide mid-day and afternoon shade. I decided to plant grapes there last minute. The plants I was given are very young and some don’t appear to be in very good condition. I have a few questions:(since I took these pictures I’ve pulled the wires tight.)

  1. The vine (training shoot) had no growing point when I got it. It’s long enough to reach the first two wires and in the few days since I planted, the buds have begun to sprout. These are going  to be lateral shoots? correct? This is what I want to be happening, correct?

Rick, that is absolutely correct.  These lateral shoots will one day be the cordon or arms on which you will prune the spurs or canes – depending on what pruning method you will choose. I zoomed in on the picture (below), to show you guys what Rick was referring to.  See those small leafs, they will develop into shoots that must be trained on the horizontal trellis wires.

I’m hoping to get lateral shoots to grow out in the next 8 weeks before temps fall. Do you think I’m too late in the season?

No, I don’t think so.  Since your growing season will be over in November, much growth can still be expected – if you stick to the methods I show in the Grape Growing System.

2. The training shoot in the photo (below) had a nice growing point and had added two inches in just a couple days. This morning it was damaged. Will this give me any lateral shoots this season? Or will I have to prune this back in winter and begin again next spring?

Yes.  See where the red arrow is; this tiny shoot that is developing here, can be used as a new growing point to train your grape vine to the trellis wires.  New lateral shoots below this point will also develop, and can either be removed or used for developing a cordon on the pipe – if that is what you want to do.  Personally I think it is too close to the ground to develop arm here.

3. Photo shows a nice training shoot with good growing point that has added 2+ inches in the few days since I planted it. The first two wires are 8 & 16 inches above the bar. Should I let it grow taller or pinch off the growing point and hope to develop a few lateral shoots in the next 8 weeks?

Rick, as shown in the Complete Grape Growing System, you will have to let the vine grow pass the top wire and then remove the growing point, so lateral shoots can develop.  These lateral shoots will be used to cover the trellis wires.

Thanks for any info/advice you can give me.

I’ve spent hours reading and re-reading your e-book this past week and I’m really excited to begin my little vineyard.


Thanks Rick for sharing your pictures with us.  If there are any questions, feel free to post a comment on this blog post.

Take care everyone



Did you find this tips useful?  The Complete Grape Growing System has many more!

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How To Grow Grapes In Your Backyard

How to Grow Grapes – Here is a short summary of how to grow grapes in your backyard.

This summary of how to grow grapes will set you on the right tracks when choosing the site, how to prune, what varieties to grow and so forth.  This is only a summary of how to grow grapes, and not a complete guide – there is so much more to growing grapes than simply planting and pruning a grape vine.  If you want to learn how to grow grapes, then start here and broaden you search.  The my grape vine blog is for on “how to grow grapes” articles – enjoy!

A summary of how to grow grapesHow to Grow Grapes – The History

Drinking wine is a pleasure that has been enjoyed since almost 4000BC. The science of viticulture, or grape cultivation, began with the need to domesticate wild vines. Viticulturists needed to breed domestic plants with higher fruit yields, since wild grapes invest little energy in fruit production. Wild grapes were also dioecious, meaning that there are male and female versions of the plant. Early viticulturists selected a rare mutant vine with perfect flowers (that is, functional male and female components) to ensure all their vines bore fruit. Today many varieties of common species of grapes are cultivated and used for wine production and that is why so many people from all around the globe want to learn how to grow grapes.

How to Grow Grapes – Soil preparation

If you really want to succeed in how to grow grapes, then you need to select the correct planting site. Grapes can grow in a wide variety of soil types and pH ranges, certain conditions induce better growth and yields. First, grapes prefer well-drained and slightly acidic soil. The best pH is typically between 6.0 to 6.5, but grapes will grow in soils with pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. If your soil is a little basic, you can add in sulfur or ammonium sulphate to decrease the soil pH. Ideally, grapes should be planted on a south-facing hillside, although in a home garden you may not have this luxury. You should choose a site in your garden that receives full sunlight – grapes do not like the shade. You’ll need to ensure that the soil at your selected site is worked over well before planting to remove any perennial weeds. Addition of peat moss or manure to the site will also help to improve soil quality.

How to Grow Grapes – Planting methods

The way you plant your grape vines is really important for their health and productivity. Vines need to be planted approximately eight feet apart in rows that are between eight and ten feet apart. If you are planting on a sloped site, ensure that the rows run perpendicular to the slope. If your site is exposed to a strong prevailing wind, orientate your rows in the direction of the wind to minimize damage.It’s preferable to choose one- or two-year-old, dormant, bare-root vines from a reputable provider. Soak the roots of the vines for several hours prior to planting. When planting, ensure that the hole is slightly larger than the root system of the plant and that the vines are set at a depth equivalent to the one they grew in at the nursery. If your vines are grafted, ensure that the grafting union is approximately two inches above the soil. Once you have planted the vines, you’ll need to remove all but the most vigorously growing cane and cut this back to just one or two buds.

How to Grow GrapesTraining your grape vines

To facilitate cultivation, harvesting, pest control and to maximize yield, grapes are trained to a specific system. There are many different training systems, however the single curtain and four- or six-cane Kniffin systems are most suitable for home gardeners. The four-cane Kniffin system trains four fruiting canes to two trellis wires whilst the six-cane Kniffin system trains six canes to three wires. The six-cane system is best for less vigorous grape varieties. Using the single curtain system, the main trunk of the vine is attached to a horizontal wire approximately six feet above the ground. Two cordons (extensions of the main trunk) grow along the wire to the left and the right of the trunk, with five or six fruiting canes on each cordon.

How to Grow Grapes – Pruning

One very important aspect of how to grow grapes is pruning.  Annual pruning of your vines will be necessary to ensure optimum yield and sufficient vine growth to produce next year’s crop. The best time for pruning is late Winter or early Spring, during the vine’s dormant phase. You’ll need to keep a few things in mind when pruning; fruit is borne on one-year old canes, the most productive of which are between 0.25 and 0.30 inches in diameter. The most productive buds occur in the middle of the cane, so it is best to prune canes to between eight and 16 buds. New farmers may find the advice of an experienced viticulturist helpful.

How to Grow Grapes – Harvesting

Harvesting should occur when the grapes are fully ripe. Color isn’t always a reliable indicator of maturity, so taste-testing is essential! Cut the grape clusters from the vine with a sharp knife and handle the grapes by the stems. Grapes do not handle or store well, so enjoy the fruits of your labor as soon as possible!

This is only a summary of how to grow grapes. For a more complete program that will show you how to grow grapes in simple layman’s terms, and much more helpful explanation, you need the get YOUR copy of the Complete Grape Growing System – Click Here

Have a grape day and thanks for sharing this “How To Grow Grapes” article on the social network for others to see.


The Grape Guy

Learn How To Grow Grapes Here