The Q&A Archives: Starting a Grape Arbor

Question: I'd like to put in a grape arbor and I was wondering if there were any varities of grapes recommended for my area. I hear that Concord does fine here, and that was going to be my choice. Also, when is a good time to plant? Rumour says in the fall about a month before the first frost, then a good mulch to over-winter the plants.

Answer: You can plant grapes now or in the spring, but personally, I'd rather get my arbor or stakes up ahead of time and prepare the soil in fall, and then plant in spring. That way, your grapes have the best chances of success. Miller Nurseries (5060 West Lake Rd., Canandaigua, NY 14424, ph# 800/836-9630) has a great selection of grapes that will do well in your area, including red, white, seedless, etc., so you could actually grow a number of different kinds on your arbor. For the "tried and true" varieties for your region, contact your county agricultural extension office (ph# 717/334-6271) they should have a list for you. Grapes are very hungry plants that grow rapidly, so have your soil tested this fall, so you can amend it properly. Extension can help you with soil testing info, too, and probably has a low-cost bulletin on training, pruning and planting grapes. Enjoy!

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