Grapes, a long season crop, are often ignored in home gardens, and yet are one of the most widely produced fruits in the world. We have plenty of tips for growing grapes in your own backyard.
Grapevines not only produce sweet and versatile fruits, they add an element of drama to a garden or landscape. They are vigorous growers, and with the proper pruning, they will produce fruit with ease and can last longer than 30 years.
There are three different types of grapes: American (V. labrusca), European (V. viniferia), and North American native Muscadine (V. rotundifolia). American grapes are the most cold-hardy, while European grapes, usually more for wine than the table, do well in warm, dry, Mediterranean type zones. Hybrids are available. Thick skinned Muscadines thrive in the South.
Make sure you purchase grape vines from a reputable nursery. Vigorous, 1-year-old plants are best. Smaller, sometimes weaker, 1-year-old plants are often held over by the nursery to grow another year and are then sold as 2-year-old stock. Obtain certified virus-free stock when possible.