So you decided to grow grapes then.
How do grapes grow is a good question.
But beware, this is where most of the grape grower make their first mistake. Choosing the correct grape variety is one of the most important decisions any home grape grower needs to take, when it comes to growing grapes. The precise variety will stand between being a successful grape grower or failure.
In the past, choosing a grape vine variety that suits your climate, soil and growing conditions, was much harder than today. On this current situation, there are more than 20 000 known grape varieties in the world, people living in climates, previously thought not suitable for growing grapes, can now plant varieties that was specially bred for to survive in harsh grape growing conditions.
Backyard grape growing is becoming more and more popular by the day, as people more and more strive to live healthier and look after our planet more carefully. Unfortunately, not all backyard is suitable for grape vine planting. You will have to do some research on what varieties suits your climate, your soil and the availability of good quality water.
The next major concern for most home grape grower is a disease called Phylloxera. During the late 1800’s, there was a phylloxera epidemic (a sap-sucking insect that feeds on the roots of the grape vine) destroyed more than two thirds of all the vineyards in Europe. The breeding of Phylloxera resistant/tollerant rootsock, interferred or stopped this disease from killing all grape vines. he preferred method today is planting grafted varieties because the rootstock does not interfere with the development of the grapes.
When choosing the correct grape variety, it is best to visit vineyards in your area and see what varieties are successfully grown there. Most of the time, this is a surefire way of knowing that you have chosen the right variety.
Cold damage to grape vines is another grape growing problem that will influence the choice of grape varieties. If cold damage is an obstacle where you live, choose a variety with a short growing season, so the grape vines have enough time to harden off before winter comes.
A final word of advice; if nobody grow grapes in your area, it doesn’t mean grapes can’t be grown there. Probe first and choose wisely. There is nothing more gratifying than enjoying grapes, grown on your own grape vine and prepared by your hands.
There is a lot of growing grapes book that you can find in a bookstore.
Best of luck!