vine to wine guide

Grapevine Care

red grapesOnce your vines have been planted ongoing grapevine care is very necessary to ensure success. Watching over your grape plants 24/7 should be more equated to a weekly check of the grapes general health.

For the first couple of years, a newly planted grapevine it will need fertilization to promote growth. From then on only moderate amounts should be used as too much fertilizer will encourage excessive wood and leaf growth at the expense of fruit production.

For irrigation purposes a lot obviously depends on the make up of the soil. Heavy clay soil tend to retains water around the roots whereas light crumbly soils will let water drain away quickly leading to plant drought. If you have prepared the ground well prior to planting grapevines watering needs will only be dependant on the weather conditions, i.e. hot/dry or frequent rain etc.

When your grapevines are established and thriving, the proper grape pruning procedures have to be followed. Pruning will of course be carried out in the vine's dormant period. Actual amounts of pruning are often dependent on the variety of plant with some needing more than other. Opinions too vary of the amount of pruning you should do. Some people strongly advise heavy cutting back to promote new healthy growth the following year while other only perform light trimming. Time and experience is likely to show which is the path you should follow.

Grapevine pests and diseases are something you will need to be vigilant about. Although birds and wildlife raiding your growing fruit can be a nuisance, disease can quickly wipe out your crops and plants. You should keep a wary eye open for any traces of disease. Discolouration anywhere on the plants or fruit. Furry growths, fungus, wilting, lesions and powdery traces are all symptoms of disease and prompt action is vital to stop the spread either further on the vine or to other plants. Plenty of specialist insecticides are available and quick identification and use of the appropriate spray should solve the problem.

Grapevine care is really a matter of routine and once established should see you plants thrive and prosper rewarding you with an abundance of tasty grapes.